Written by Violaine Guéritault, Ph.D.

What is it?

This emotion is often described as a form of sadness, accompanied by a feeling of loss that arises when there is a gap between your expectations and reality. You feel disappointed when your hope for something you wanted is being defeated. When it comes to disappointment, you probably noticed that the intensity of your disappointment depends on several factors: a. how important is the thing you wanted, b. how long you’ve been waiting for that thing, and c. how definitive is the outcome.

What is it telling you?

There is nothing pleasant about being disappointed, but if you’re open to it, this emotion can provide you with very important information about yourself, your beliefs, the people around you, and what does, or you think will, make you truly happy.

How to manage it?
  • First and foremost, accept how you feel. Face your disappointment, process it and then let it fade gradually. Avoiding this emotion, like any other negative emotion, will only reinforce its power over you.
  • Be humble and learn from it. This emotion will help you grow by giving you insight about yourself.
  • Practice gratitude and refocus on what you have as opposed to what you didn’t get.
  • Share your disappointment with a caring and trusted friend. They will give you the energy and motivation you need to move forward.
  • Do yourself a favor and stop falling into the destructive comparison trap. The grass is definitely not always greener on the other side of the fence.