Tiny ways to deal with large disappointment

by andrewodom on June 22, 2011


We all face disappointment in life so this is no name your vice Anonymous meeting. Sad to say many of us choose to complain and cry about our problems to the overwhelming annoyance of others.

Eliza Tabor – noted author – once said,

“Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.”

This past week for me has ushered in multiple disappointments. The first came on Wednesday when a gift I had ordered for my wife turned up but only to be incorrect. Even though Crystal had told me which product to order I somehow managed to order the wrong one. She wasn’t the least bit upset but it left me feeling incapable and somewhat pathetic.

Then as Friday afternoon rolled around more disappointment mounted. We have been waiting to be contacted by the electric service so that an engineer can come out and assess what sort of work we will need to have a power hookup for tiny house. This was to be a major milestone. On Monday when I spoke to the customer service rep at Fill In the Blank Electric they told me the engineer would be there within 1-4 days based on his schedule. They even sent me the cost of the visit by snail mail. I felt like it was going somewhere. By Thursday morning he had not shown and when I called Friday to customer service they stuck to their story and assured me his presence that day. By 6pm Friday I knew he wasn’t coming. I felt like a HUGE weight had been thrust upon my chest. Another project stalled because of circumstances beyond my control. But wait. Beyond my control? Was I really admitting that I had nothing to do with it? Was I experiencing a new revelation in dealing with disappointment?

Coping with Disappointment

As with any state of well being you really have to recognize your coping mechanisms. Everyone has them. Do you eat away the disappointment? Do you shop it away? Perhaps you go into a monk-like silence vow.

Once you realize that strategy isn’t working, you’ve got to get serious about figuring out one that does.

So I’ve compiled a list of 5 tiny ways to deal with large disappointment.

Acknowledge your feeling(s). There is nothing wrong with saying, “I am so disappointed.” In fact, you can say it honestly and openly without blaming or punishing others. Remember, you are disappointed with a situation most time, not a person. Learn to voice your feelings without divebombing another person.

Put things in perspective. Even TINY disappointments can seem LARGE at first. But once you’ve walked through the hurt, and the frustration, and the anger, take a big step back and really look at the situation. Will the disappointment set you back days? Will you still feel this way in weeks? How will it change next year?

Refuse to doubt yourself. This is where I get caught up. Sometimes disappointment can make you feel like a failure! Don’t let it. Even though you may wonder why these things happen to you remember that it is generally nothing you did. Don’t allow yourself to live in negativity.

Look for a solution or compromise. Since I knew we would be working on electric services this weekend Crystal and I decided to focus on cultivating some still unfinished land in preparation for larger gardens next year. It was a job I was dreading and really had no time for. But since I now had an open weekend I thought it would be a great second option that would keep me task-oriented as well as give the engineer a little extra time to prove himself.

Reevaluate and make changes if necessary. Disappointment – especially on a regular occurrence – can offer us a chance to really reevaluate our standards, our expectations, and our priorities. Don’t be afraid of that. Let iron sharpen iron.

What do you do to deal with disappointment? Is it something you deal with often? Share with us. And if you know others who could learn from this list, be sure to Retweet them the link or share it on Facebook by using one of the buttons below!

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