Twelve Ways to Get Over Disappointment


“Twelve Ways to Get Over Disappointment” by Joan Y. Edwards

Disappointing News

At times it is difficult to get over disappointing news. You get frustrated with yourself. You are short-tempered with friends and family. You can’t see things clearly. Instead of a rosy situation, like you planned, it turned was a lousy, awful, humiliating, and embarrassing situation.  Instead of winning, you lost 55-0. Instead of getting the raise, you got fired. Instead of getting a job after 30 applications, you were turned down. You wish it hadn’t happened. You fill disappointed. Disappointment is anger, sadness, and resentment all dumped together at one time.

1. You think it didn’t really happen. You block it out.
2. You blame it on anyone and everyone that you have ever known.
3. You proclaim to the whole world that it’s not fair.
4. You tell the world that this particular experience wasn’t supposed to happen. The plans in your mind never wandered down this road of possibility.
5. You might even tell the world that you knew all the time that this was going to happen. You were afraid of this particular thing.

lady with hands under her chin and very disappointed

It didn’t turn out like I thought it would.

Twelve Ways to Get Over a Disappointment
1. Accept that it happened, exactly like it did.
2. Take a walk or do other exercise.
3. Accept that there’s nothing you can do to change the fact that it happened. Pray that God give you peace about it and show you what to do.
4. Be thankful that something worse didn’t happen. Be thankful for all the good things in your life. Realize that you did the best you could with the information, feelings, and knowledge you had.
5. Think through what you can do to prevent something similar from happening again. If another person’s decision, disappointed you, realize that you are not in charge of other people’s decisions. The only person you are in charge of is yourself. If your own behavior disappointed you,  realize that no one’s perfect. Educate, inspire, and empower yourself. Know that you can figure out a better way of handling this emotionally. Respect and honor yourself.
6. Accept that even with the best planning in the world, it could happen again. However, if it does, you will survive. You will be fine. If you resist it and are extremely afraid of this happening again, you are increasing the chances of the situation repeating itself. What you fear, you make appear.
7. Focus on what you want. Change fearful thoughts. Think about what you want.
8. Talk with someone who is a good listener. Someone who won’t escalate your anger. Someone who won’t blame you or lay out a million reasons why you were at fault. Talk with someone who will empower you to find your solutions. Someone who believes you can figure this out. Someone who might offer possibilities. Someone who will help you brainstorm possibilities. Focus on the solutions in your mind.
9. Visualize yourself being okay.
10. Write down the steps that will keep this from happening again.
11. Take positive action. Do something you feel will lead toward a solution. Do something that will help you prevent this from happening again.
12. Find humor in what happened. Watch a funny movie. Read a funny book. Write about it as if a famous comedian were telling the story. If you can’t find humor in the situation, go ahead and cry. Crying is healing. It will level your emotions. Then you will be able to think clearly.  When you can laugh about it, it means that you have let it go.

dejected football player in the stands with his head down

It’s disappointing when you don’t win in your mind

Other Resources:

Annette Colby. “Six Powerful Steps to Help You Cope with Disappointment:” http://www.annettecolby.com/blog/2009/09/24/six-powerful-steps-to-help-you-cope-with-disappointment/

Therese J. Borchard. “Seven Ways to Overcome Disappointment:” http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/04/15/7-ways-to-overcome-disappointment/

Thank you for reading my blog. Please let me know what helps when you feel disappointed.

Celebrate where you are!
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2012 Joan Y. Edwards and her licensors.

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15 Responses

  1. Sometimes it helps to think of myself as a book character. My story wouldn’t be very interesting if it were predictable or nothing but celebrations. The best stories are the ones where the character gets knocked down but never gives up. They keep pressing on until they reach their goal. That’s the sort of character I want to be. :)

    • Dear Laura,
      Thanks for writing and sharing how you handle disappointment. I believe you are the kind of person who keeps pressing on until you reach your goal, just like the characters you create in your writing. People who read about how your characters get back up when they are knocked down will also be encouraged and be filled with courage to face problems of their own.
      Celebrate you and your willingness to share ideas with other people.
      Never Give Up!
      Joan Y. Edwards

  2. Joan,
    Disappointment has a way of sneaking back out of its dark hiding place and reappearing. I notice it more when I’m alone and it’s quiet enough to hear myself think. That’s when repeating some of these techniques can be helpful such as praying, exercising, talking to a friend, etc. Sometimes when you think you’re over something, you find you really aren’t. Maybe you’re closer to being over it than you were, but it’s not all over with yet. Celebrate your efforts to move toward happiness. Some disappointments can be classified as losses and moving forward following a loss does take time. Keep at it and soon your bells will be jingling again.

    • Dear Linda,
      Thanks for writing and sharing your thoughts about disappointment. You are right. Sometimes we think we are over something and we find out that we definitely are not over it yet. Celebrating your efforts to let go is a good idea. May you always be able to accept yourself where you are on the road to letting go.
      Do something fun to celebrate you.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

  3. Like most things, the work we need to do to change is all internal. Nice list!

    • Dear Widdershins, Thanks for writing. I enjoy hearing what you have to say. You are right, most of the time when problems with feelings are involved, there is internal work that has to be done. I’m glad you liked the list. Celebrate you today.

      Lasso Fun Today – Yee Haw! Joan Y. Edwards Website: http://www.joanyedwards.com/ Blog: http://www.joanyedwards.wordpress.com/

  4. Joan,
    Thank you for this wonderful piece. Disappointment comes in all forms, shapes and sizes. Not long ago I would be devastated by it. Now I receive it, relax, refocus, reassess and regroup! Thanks for your great resources. God bless you.
    Ann

    • Dear Ann, You’re welcome for this blog article. You are right: disappointment comes in all forms, shapes, and sizes. I’m glad you have you have a working plan for meeting head-on with disappointment. Thanks for sharing them with me. Do something fun to celebrate you today.

      Fill Yourself with Joy http://www.joanyedwards.wordpress.com

  5. This post is good food for thought for writers. By the very nature of their lives, we have to reach out. To publishers, readers, reviewers, authors put themselves in line for disappointment. The book that wasn’t accepted, the royalty check that was smaller than hoped, the talk where nobody came. For myself, I try to tell myself things could be worse then throw myself into working on whatever novel(s) I have in progress. Of course I don’t guarantee my characters will enjoy the attention LOL. Since I write fantasy and science fiction, I’m taken out of my troubles for a while and when I return to the real world, things are bettter. Thanks for the article. I’m suggesting it to my other author friends. Helen

    • Dear Helen,
      Thanks for writing. You are correct. Writers have a lot of possible disappointments. However, they also have the creativity and determination to go forward to see the completion of their goals. Thanks for recommending my post to your other other friends. I am honored. Celebrate you!

      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

  6. Mentioned my blog post. Thank you. […] disappointment and rejection different. Joan Y. Edward put forth some tips with her post “Twelve Ways to Get Over Disappointment.” The main point is not to give up. Today’s empty room might be […]

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this. It helped me so much.

    • Dear Victoria,
      You are very welcome. I am very glad that my post helped you through a time of deep disappointment. Celebrate and accept yourself as being a gift. Your name is symbolic of winning. You are a winner, no matter how it seems. Hold your head up high and smile. Thank you for writing.

      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

  8. Thanks for the post, Joan.

    In some cases, there may be a way to completely neutralize the friendship disappointment we feel and breathe a sigh of relief.

    For example, a close friend who has become distant. He has changed gears in life, is busier than ever, hangs out with another crowd on the weekend and so on. Your life seems like a square block and his a round hole.

    Somewhere in his life though may be a square hole that has been overlooked. A niche where the relationship can continue to your satisfaction. This situation happened to me. I let my friend know that I was missing his company. He happily met up with me for movies, occasionally eating out and meeting up at a coffee shop to do some work on our laptops.

    I wonder how many people have been disappointed by a friend who has gradually become distant only to find upon expressing the desire to meet up more often that the friend was glad to comply.

    • Dear Andrew,
      Thanks for writing. I am very glad that you spoke up to your friend and told him how much you missed him. That’s a great idea. Communication is the key, isn’t it? Sometimes we misinterpret friends who become distant. You’re right, somewhere in your friend’s life though may be a square hole that has been overlooked.

      Celebrate you and your understanding of what true friendship is,
      Never Give Up
      Joan

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