10 Things to Try When Life Disappoints
Sometimes you are just minding your own business. Life is running smoothly, and then you’re blindsided by something you didn’t even know could upset you. Something you hadn’t considered could “go wrong”. How you deal with yourself in those first few minutes can determine whether this event becomes a blip on your emotional radar or the next Oedipus Rex.
Here is my list of “dos and don’ts” for those crazy moments when life unexpectedly disappoints:
1. Do keep it to yourself for a few minutes. Deal with whatever happens alone first. Formulate a response, and then you can decide how, if and when to share your thoughts.
2. Don’t decide that it’s a tragedy. Hold off, hold off, hold off on passing judgment on the situation.
3. Don’t take a crazy rash action. Don't cut off your friend, don't quit your job, don't sell your apartment. Wait until the craziness of the moment passes. When your head is clear, you can choose any of the above actions, if they will truly serve you.
4. Don’t call yourself stupid. A big part of disappointment is our own shame. Shame in trusting a person, a system, a blind hope. We are disappointed in others but also in ourselves. Beating yourself up will not do any good. If there is a lesson for you to learn, it's not in this moment- it will come later.
5. Don’t swear off something forever. Never say never. Except maybe say never about never saying never :)
6. Don’t hold your breath. Literally. Inhale, exhale, repeat.
7. Don’t hold back your tears. Whatever the disappointment is, it might not feel so awful in 5 minutes. But if it feels awful right now, acknowledge that feeling. Get it out, let it pass. It WILL change.
8. Do write a blog post about it. Writing can be really therapeutic, whether the world sees the results or not.
9. Don’t put your post up right away. Refer back to #3, especially if your initial text contains pages full of swear words or other extreme emotions. Give it time. Re-evaluate.
10. Do think about the next thing you’re looking forward to. Keep thinking until you find something. You give yourself a moment, and then you move on to the next moment. Life keeps moving forward, so we may as well move forward too.