How do you manage extreme disappointment?
How? If you’re Buddhist, no offense, but we already know what you’re going to say. If you’re Buddhist-leaning, no offense, but we already know what you’re going to say. What about other approaches/perspectives? Who’s got life figured out? If you DO have life figured out, don’t reply. If you’re figuring it out as you go (and not Buddhist), please reply!
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@sat0, Buddhist leaning here.
I cry. I whine, I rant and rave about how unfuckingfair it is, I mope. When I get tired of the pity-party, I invest my energy in something else. Then – usually 2 years later – I look back and recognize that I wasn’t ready for whatever I did not get, or I notice that my life moved in a much better direction that wouldn’t or couldn’t have happened if not for the disappointment. Then some other major disappointment comes along and I do it all over again. When I am smack in the middle of it, I tell myself that better things will come, but since I’m moping, I rarely listen to my own hard-earned wisdom.
So tell me, is that what you knew I was going to say?
1. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
2. Don’t expect things. Assume a positive outcome, but never expect it.
3. Don’t be a bitch.
4. If you do find yourself disappointed, just see the funny side of it. Laugh, it’s fucking hilarious.
5. Have other good stuff to lean back on. It’s hard to get mad/sad when you’re living your dream, feeling great, being super healthy, making money on auto-pilot, getting laid like a rockstar, or whatever floats your boat.
6. Be positive. Never let go of that obnoxious shit-eating grin haha.
@sat0, First I’m completely shocked that something so weird and unexpected happened, because it’s extreme because you didn’t see it coming. After that, I tend to cry and laugh at the same time, it’s so insane, because the situation is beyond repairable and you still want to fix things, it’s just stupid, yet you still want to believe something good will come from it. I look at the situation from a lot of perspectives, and I ask people how they see the situation, most of the time the situation how it is is just a choice of how you look at it really. You have a choice to look at it as if it was meant to happen that way, or as if the situation now is better than it would be if you would get it your way. It also depends on what kind of disappointment, is it losing a job you really wanted, a relationship that didn’t work out as you hoped for, someone near to you is going trough a rough time, friendships that break, well there are so much different disappointments, sometimes it also means something.
The hardest thing I still have to learn is let go and move on, because I alsmost make a statement of the thing that disappointed me, as if it is of huge significant importance, but maybe it’s just not, though my feelings tell me it is.
Laughing. It’s the best way to deal with things that would otherwise be devastating. Mostly laughing at the absurdity of it all. The other fantastic technique is to realize that this if the best thing for you. Perhaps ________ would have happened if this had NOT happened, and that would have been worse! Eg. a fender bender prevented you from getting into a fatal accident later on. Trust that things happen for a reason. It makes life a lot easier to deal with.
** I swear I don’t have life totally figured out :) **
@filipek, That is just not true for everyone. I’ve seen people that suffered through out of whole their life because they couldn’t let go of something, even when time passed by. People who are struggling with forgiveness and unsolved conflicts they carry that on with their whole life. Sometimes people get angry with each other or are not able to process disappointments even when time flies by. Ok maybe after time things will get less intense, yet still emotions run high if you face the same disappointment or person again.
I think in most cases you have to actively set your mind on other things, find happiness in other things, and even process the disappointment by not running away from it, but really psychologically dealing with it. So you need both, the distraction and the processing of the problem you’re struggling with. Only time will not do that for you, you have to do that for yourself, otherwise you’ll still end up miserable if your real thoughts about the situation emerge inside your head. Sometimes these thoughts won’t leave you alone, even when time flies by.
@sat0, Stop going into things with expectations. No one can see any farther ahead into the future than a split second, so it’s rather foolish to plan too far ahead. Come terms with the fact that anything can happen, and it will not likely occur in accordance with your plans.
I would go with what Jordan said. A few weeks ago I didn’t get a promotion that I applied for that I surely believed I deserved and 7! of my co-workers got it over me. (There were 7 spots free for the same position in different areas) But me and another were the only ones to not get it. I just laughed at how ridiculous it was, and came to the thought that maybe I wasn’t really ready for the promotion yet. All in all, don’t let disappointment linger on you and keep you negative.
First, there are trivial disappointments, as those listed above. Not getting a job, losing money in the stock market, loss of a girl or boy friend, etc. Then there are disappointments, such as investing 30 years of your life, to a person who ultimately destroys every principle that you have based your life upon. You realize that you had all the gifts necessary for a very happy life, and to make someone else happy too. But now, there is not enough time to go back, to find that someone new, to build the life you thought you were building only to find out it was all an illusion. Such disappointments are not fixable, there is nothing one can do to overcome the realities that go with such a disappointment. Only making the best of the rest of your life…and that isn’t very satisfying. For most, life sucks.
@boribori90, Actually, they’re not just other peoples’ beliefs–they happen to be my own, too. Hence, I sought different perspectives. And as I indicated, I meant no offense, though I realize my word choice reflects a certain candor.
I take time for myself to really feel it fully and let myself feel the disappointment, I gather different perspectives from trusted friends, relatives. Sometimes I ask a completely stranger at a bar. Sometimes I just spend a certain part of the day like the opposite of meditating. Where I cuss really loud into a pillow. This actually helps you realize after how absurd you are being with letting the situation get the better of you. Then I try to reflect on the positive even though it’s really hard and you will make yourself annoyed for trying to think positive but I force myself and then eventually you don’t have to anymore it becomes more like okay this happened, but I’m still here so I guess I can only go with that and that in itself opens a lot doors to seeing that I have opportunities I had been blind to because of being in the disappointment bubble. I make a list of things that make me laugh. Things I love, and often times there’s things I forgot I was passionate about that I let slip by the wayside. Then the hating part of my brain gets tired and starts letting the positive side breathe more. I also try to be more open in this time like I don’t want to miss out on an opportunity that may show up because I’ve been too busy imploding into myself.
Sometimes I pretend I have life figured out. But that’s the trap right there. Try to think of it like this awesome mystery that you don’t have to have all figured out. Be happy you’ve figured out the bits that you have. You’ll figure it out man in pieces.
I also think that there’s worse things/state/places I could be in. Like I would not like to be reincarnated into being a piece of shit. But often that’s where our brains start to go and we start accepting this and we don’t even know it.
But most importantly to give yourself time to be okay with the disappointment and try to unravel what you are going to do to get back into the positive state. Also to realize what is it for me personally that is individual to me that makes me think more positively and to try to do those things and then make myself do those things. Because you get the stinging realization. Oh man there’s so many things I could still do? See what blocks are imaginary and which ones may be self imposed. There’s many fights inside you in your thought that have to get organized to be the ones worth fighting for and the ones that are just dumb and don’t need to revisit any more.
It’s okay to feel crappy, as long as you formulate a plan after on how you would get happy. Then make it snappy. But don’t get too far gone that you start to make up borderline rappys.
Or actually why not. Make a rap song about how you are going to change your situation. And make sure at the end you say “Hell Yeah!” really loud. Make sure you are wearing a big clock around your neck. If you only have a digital one that’s okay.
And I would like to thank buddhists everywhere. At the same time I know as being very cynical myself for a while that sometimes. When from the outside being buddhist can seem like have always had an answer for everything. Because they are always damn smiling in their enlightenment. All I wanted was someone to say “Shit man that sucks” and not “You must be like a young bending tree strong and flexible.”
So I once I went to a temple and it was really cool conversation. So I said man I’m not going to be full on here but I can vibe on some of the things said.
So sometimes I turn it around. Like if someone says you are a piece of shit. (and you know you are not) Say I’m a golden piece of shit. You’re going to have trouble flushing me down in your small holed American/Canadian toilets!
I manage my disappointment by learning from my experiences and using knowledge I’ve collected to try and have a less disappointing life for myself. That’s really it. I mean, yeah, I will do little things to brighten my perspective about something that’s disappointing but overall it just comes down to taking what I know and using it. There are a lot of things to be learned from disappointing experiences. So what if I’m disappointed? I won’t always be. If I was, I’d surely be out of my mind. I remind myself of how grateful I am.