Disappointment is one of those feelings that I try desperately to avoid, because it always hits me hard when I look forward to something and it doesn’t work out. The first time that I remember being disappointed was when my mom told me when I was much younger that my babysitter had tickets for me to see Spice Girls. I was a major Spice Girls fan. I had every single barbie doll version of the girls and put on shows on the regular with my Spice Girls microphone. (Yes, I had a Spice Girls microphone. It was serious.) I was always Baby Spice if you’re curious. So when my mom told me the news that she couldn’t get me tickets after all, I was devastated. I had never been to a concert before and I felt like all my dreams were crushed in one instant.
I feel this way again and again when I get overly excited about some event or trip and it gets canceled last minute. For awhile, I decided that it was best to not get too excited. I felt that getting my hopes up too high set me up for disappointment every single time. Now, I don’t approach being let down in the same way anymore and I think I’ve figured out how to ease the pain of disappointment.
Here are some tips to help make it a little easier.
Have a backup plan
Tell yourself ahead of time that you’ll be okay if it doesn’t work out. When you get the bad news, the first thing you could think is, “okay, what can I do instead that will be equally fun?” Because the best way to get over a disappointment is to find something new to be excited about. It doesn’t need to be an “all or nothing” kind of day. Find a replacement and get excited about your new plans. It certainly helps if you can find someone else to hang out with, but it’s awesome to make new plans by yourself too. You don’t have to spend the day being lonely if you’re by yourself. See this post on why being lonely is awesome.
Find a way to accept it immediately
It’s frustrating as heck when plans fall through. I get so angry – it’s my natural instinct. But, here’s what I’ve learned: what’s done is done. The plans are broken and if there’s nothing you can do, you just have to deal with it. There’s no point in wasting your time being upset about it. You just have to move on and accept it. This has taken me a long time to master, but having a backup plan, like I stated above is the easiest way to accept it. Get excited about something else and push past the negative energy that you’re feeling. You’ll forget about it easier than you’d think.
Don’t think about “what ifs”
The worst thing that you can do is to think about how the day would’ve gone. Daydreaming in these situations will only upset you more. Just put it out of your mind and keep your mind on other activities that you can do.
Work to make the best of your day
Do you have any items you can check off your bucket list today? How can you salvage the day? There’s always something you can do to make the day great. Do something you love. Maybe you’ve been meaning to start up a new hobby, but you hadn’t had the time to. Your time just freed up, so get going on it girl!
Set a new date for the same plans if it’s possible. You can almost always do it another day. Maybe it won’t happen this time, but you can still make it happen later on if you really want to. Some things are worth the extra wait. Make sure when you reschedule that you do whatever it takes to make it actually pan out the next time.
Don’t make the person who bailed on you feel bad
Don’t go off on the person that had to cancel, because I’m sure they feel terrible too. This is a mistake that I’ve made more than once, I’m afraid. If I didn’t feel like the person feels bad, I felt the need to make it very clear how upset I was. Even though nothing could be done, I wanted to make them feel like complete crap. How unproductive and mean… I know.
I do have to say though, if this is a recurring thing, it’s perfectly okay to be upset with the person. If they are coming off as a flaky person, remember that. We don’t have time for flaky friends who we can’t count on. Put more energy into the relationships where people can stick to their commitments and value your friendship.
Make the most of your day, even if it’s not the day you’d planned on having.