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  • Writer's pictureKaren Divya Shekar

How to Deal with Disappointments

Disappointments hit us at a young age.

When we’ve had to make do with the sensible shoes instead of the sparkly ones. When we can’t go to eat some place fancy. When we can’t have the latest toy or that branded watch.

While we have all managed to cope with these materialistic disappointments, there are some big D’s that we simply can’t get over.

These have to do with the “Big” things like the first loves, the ex-best friends, and the right choice of careers.

Luckily, for the sake of this blog post, I’ve been disappointed in all three. So, I am in some way, an authority to wax eloquent on the subject.

How to deal with disappointment? I’ll tell you.

1. Admit that you are indeed very badly disappointed

As human beings we’re forever living a lie. We say we’re happy when we’re sad. We say we’re not angry when we are angry. We’ve been lying about our feelings just so that everyone believes we’re immune to the dirt and grit spectrum of the range of human emotion.

Don’t do that to yourself anymore.

Admit it to everyone, including yourself, that you are disappointed.

It so happened that I once messed up on a project that almost cost us a client. I was so disappointed with myself, that I spent an entire month moping. I didn’t feel like working, I didn’t feel like getting back up.

It took a lot of encouragement from my friends at work to get me back on my feet again.

2. Comfort yourself

You do not have to be the douche bag that punishes yourself for making a mistake in the workplace or for walking out on years of friendship.

Sometimes, some relationships need to go.

It’s a sad but hard truth. I’m a romantic at heart and I believe that love lasts forever.

So, every relationship that didn’t work out wasn’t love in the first place. Think of it like that and move on.

3. Analyse, but only if it’s a work thing

Analyse the situation only if it’s a work thing. If you’ve failed at something in your job, you’ve got to figure out a way how you can change that about yourself.

Corporate life is really cut-throat, and to survive there you have to be on your toes a lot. There is no room for mistakes as people are paying you to be very clever all the time.

So, if you’re disappointed in the work place, with yourself or maybe a project that didn’t go as planned, analyse.

However, if your boyfriend of ten years just walked out on you, please go cry. There’s no need to analyse what went wrong, because human beings are random like that.

4. Respond Stoically to disappointments

I’ve analysed all the other options there are! Stoicism is the only one that works. If you go Epicurean, you’ll end up becoming fat, which may impact you negatively.

Simply take disappointments on the chin.

There’s no use in steeling yourself like a fortress and saying dramatically that you’ll never love again. You’ll want to love again in a couple of years. There’s no point in holding yourself back for the sake of a vow.

So be stoical. And suit up. Because disappointments will come again.

5. Suit up, because it will happen again

Life will give you lemons and continue to do so until the day you go to your grave. So, suit up and develop a contingency plan for what you’ll do the next time your heart breaks or your performance at work goes south.

If you think I had the emotional maturity to see myself through every disappointment you are wrong.

Here’s what I did.

I bottled up my feelings. I harboured grudges. I vowed never to live again. I vowed never to love again. I did all the foolish things until I had to learn the hard way.

Don’t walk my path.

Disappointments are going to come. Always prepare for them stoically.

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Nov 21, 2021

A typical post by Karen DS; insightful, carefully worded & proofread. You're gradually turning to Stoicism. Read anything by Zeno or Seneca yet?

Of course, starting off with Marcus Aurelius & his 'Meditations' is an eminently sensible idea.

[PS: On disappointment, some of the best pearls of advice I've been lucky enough to have come across are by Henry David Thoreau, even though there are several other giants. Sample this: "If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment." This was a journal entry, a private musing.]

Keep writing.😉--KC

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