Disappointments are inevitable in life.
I think it’s something we should always be ready for – no matter how perfectly we plan out our lives.
Even when we prepare ourselves for the worst, we can still be caught off guard.
It’s not something we can avoid – and like the saying goes, “life happens when you are busy making other plans”. So, things don’t always go according to plan.
Some people choose to ignore their feelings, hoping it will improve or go away.
But that never really works out, especially because suppressing your emotions can lead to physical stress on your body.
Others will tell you the best way to deal with disappointment is to have room for disappointment or to lower your expectations.
And like most things that have to do with emotional intelligence in life, it is easier said than done.
We don’t need to walk in anyone’s shoes to understand feelings of sadness, loss or frustration; we have all had to endure it in one way or another.
When things don’t go how we’d want, just as we feel disappointed in ourselves, inevitably, we will feel disappointed in others when the perceived failure is a result of them or their action, or lack thereof.
When someone disappoints you, you can feel angry, frustrated or resentful because your expectations were not met.
In these moments, we tend to forget to see the humanness in others.
We tend to downplay our own mistakes, but magnify similar mistakes by others.
For one moment, think of the times you’ve disappointed others because you didn’t know better.
At times, we don’t even know how or when we’ve hurt someone, until they speak up and tell us, which doesn’t always happen.
Through living, we learn every day what it takes to just be human – and because it’s trial and error, we will make plenty of mistakes along the way, and so will others.
It’s okay to give someone a second chance if they apologise.
Forgive and give others a chance to do better by you and the relationship.
What’s important is that we speak up to give the person at fault a chance to redeem themselves.
And if the relationship means anything to them, apologise and self-correct.
Allow others to be human.
And just as no one should hold past mistakes against us, who are we to do it to others?
Those are the same courtesies we need to give others when they mess up.
At the end of the day, you decide how many chances you have within you to give.
Whether you’re feeling disappointment in a relationship, a person or in yourself, there are various healthy ways you can deal with this unpleasant emotion.
Figure out what works best for you but always remember life is full of challenges; you solve today’s challenge to equip you for tomorrow.
What we need to do in the meantime, as we wait on our next disappointment to come along, is to accept it as part of life and something we have to deal with and build resilience for.
*Paula Christoph’s column concentrates on positive and inspirational write-ups.