Moment Of Clarity

Dealing with Disappointment

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Many of my patients have asked me why other people constantly let them down.

While they have tried a number of things to get past the hurt, they continue to feel disappointed. Feeling disappointed is the result of having an unmet expectation of the person or relationship. While disappointment is a normal part of life, we play a large part in how we manage it.

If you’ve had a difficult time managing disappointment and feel let down all of the time, it may be because you live in a fantasy.

Essentially, instead of accepting the person for who he/she is (or the situation for what it is), you continue to see this individual, as you would like that person to be. For example, how many men tell women that they do not want to be in a relationship with them? Now, how many women continue to act as if they are in a relationship with the same men who just told them – and showed them – that they did not want to be in a relationship?

So, how do you get over it?

Below is a simplified process I use with my clients to help them deal with reality as it is and not how they want it to be. Keep in mind that this takes time and can be painful because you are facing the truth,which can hurt. If it’s too painful, then you may want to consider working with a therapist.

Answer the following questions:

1)   How to they behave? Behavior typically reflects person’s true feelings. Describe what they do, not what you want them to do, and don’t read into it.

2)   Does the behavior hurt or disappoint you? How come?

3)   Does their behavior match up with what you want or need?

4)   What did you want/need and why?

5)   What did they show you?

Accept that and respond to their behavior appropriately. On the other hand, if you notice that they are trying to have their cake and eat it, too, you may be dealing with a manipulator and it’s best to get away from them if possible. An example of this would be a man who says he doesn’t want to be in a relationship but he comes over often, takes you around his family yet doesn’t want you to date anyone else. While it’s possible that the person doesn’t know what he wants, trying to convince him will not make him want what you want.

Moving forward, try to minimize and manage disappointment by being more grounded from the start. Try the following:

1)   Ask yourself if you expect anything from them. In other words, do you expect them to behave, provide, or talk in a certain way, or take on a certain role? If you do, be clear and specific about your expectation.

2)   Talk with them about your expectations and ask if that is something they find reasonable or can live up to. If they say yes, then great! If they say no, then ask them what they feel comfortable providing, if anything. Listen to what they say and see if there are areas where you may be open to comfortably negotiating.

3)   Take them at their word and respond appropriately. However, if their behavior is different from what they say, trust their behavior. Respond to them and their behavior appropriately and try not to change them. However, if they try to have their cake and eat it, too, then see #5 above.

Again, experiencing disappointment is normal.  It is how we deal with the disappointment that make us stronger and more grounded. When we deal with reality as it is and not how we want it to be, we find that we have more power over our lives and experience more happiness.

I hope this was helpful. As always, with love and light, I wish you pleasant journeys.

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW

Do you have a question for our “Moment of Clarity” JET Therapist, Jinnie? Email us at We’ll be sure to keep it anonymous and confidential. 

Jinnie Cristerna, affectionately known as “The High Achievers Therapist”, works with talented people to help them release emotional pain and psychological roadblocks so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. Specializing in psychotherapy, heart centered hypnotherapy, vibrational energy, meditation, and personality development, Jinnie has a nearly 90 percent success rate with her clients.  Sign up for Jinnie’s High Achiever newsletter here or join her on Facebook and Twitter!