How to Handle Disappointment: When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Feeling disappointed? We’ve all been there. How do you handle disappointment? The promotion you didn’t get. The crush who won’t text back. The child who just won’t take your advice. What you hope for seems out of your grasp. Disappointment feels like a heavy weight on your chest that you ant get off. It all leads to that sinking sense of failure right at the seat of your stomach. You feel out of control.

handle disappointment handling failure

If when this happened, the stories of all past disappointments and failures come rushing into your consciousness, you are not alone.  This is just what the human mind does.

And, I’ve got you.

You may feel like you can’t handle disappointment, but you can. And you do handle disappointment every day.

Pull up your comfiest chair and let’s get you feeling better. Watch my video and read on for my tips and tricks for dealing with one of the worst feelings in the world.

How to Handle Disappointment

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My 4 Steps to Help You Handle Disappointment

  1. Allow Yourself to Feel. Feeling badly about a disappointing situation is appropriate! No need to judge yourself here. Instead, be compassionate. To handle disappointment does not mean to not feel bad about it. It means honoring your feelings so you come out the other side feeling better.
  2. Let Go of Self-Blame. When we get disappointed, it often triggers all our past disappointments. This can send us into a spiral of analysis- thinking there must be a pattern and it’s somehow our fault. No. This is simply how our minds work. A new occurrence triggers an old occurrence. Try to keep this in mind so that self-blame doesn’t add to your anxiety and overwhelm.
  3. Pacify Yourself with a Substitute. Be open about what else could make you happy in this moment. Being rigid and clinging to one result or thing will only leave you feeling closed-off and upset. Be willing to soften.
  4. There Will Be a Next Time. There’s a quote from Marianne Williamson that is super helpful: “If a train doesn’t stop at your station, then it’s not your train.” I can tell you with over twenty years experience as a therapist, there is always a next time. Honor that it might not feel that way right now, but be open to the possibility that something different (better even?) is on its way.

I hope these steps have helped you! How do you handle disappointment? Share with me.

1 thought on “How to Handle Disappointment: When Things Don’t Go Your Way”

  1. Dr. Jodi, your insights on handling disappointment resonate deeply. Your four steps – allowing oneself to feel, releasing self-blame, finding substitutes for joy, and acknowledging the possibility of a next time – offer valuable guidance. Your compassionate approach to navigating disappointment is both comforting and empowering.

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