How To Deal With Disappointment

Don’t blame others for disappointing you; blame yourself for expecting too much from them.

Imagine living in a world where everybody is a cloned version of yourself. Where everyone looks like you, behaves like you and agrees with you.

Would you want to live in such a world? No! No-one would. Yet every time we suffer disappointment it’s because we expect others to behave according to what we think is right!

Think about it. When was the last time you were disappointed in someone else’s behaviour? When was the last time you thought, “How could he?” What was the cause of your disappointment? Was it because you expected him to behave differently?

Even if you are right, to expect others to fit into your mental pattern is a fail-safe way of becoming stressed and unhappy.

So why do we do it? Why do we expect others to behave the way we want them to? Is it because we believe that our way is the best way! Hmm…

I’ll leave you with that thought for a moment.


The way to keep ourselves composed, even in the most awkward of situations, is to understand that everyone is different. No two individuals are the same.

We all have different natures and characteristics.

Below is a diagram that shows how failure to assess others and the world around us leads to unreasonable expectations and disappointment in life. Print this off and carry it as a useful reminder.

What’s interesting is we already do this with respect to animals. We understand the different natures of lions, snakes, puppies and lambs.

That’s why wild animals are kept in compounds at the zoo and mild animals are accessible to pat. And because we understand their nature we act accordingly. We’ll pat puppies and lambs, but we’ll keep our distance from lions and snakes.

But when it comes to humans we don’t understand their nature and therefore we expect things that we shouldn’t.

There are lions, snakes, puppies and lambs among humans as well. So the next time they pounce, scratch or bite, if we have assessed them correctly then we won’t be shocked or surprised, and we won’t suffer disappointment.

Practical Exercise

  1. Grab a piece of paper and a pen and at the top of the page write the words, Right Assessment. 
  2. Assess your environment. See it as it is, not as you would like it to be. Assess the climate you live in, etcetera.
  3. Assess your family. See each one as they are. Understand their unique qualities and attributes.
  4. Assess your friends and work colleagues.

Right Assessment is not judging others, it is factual analysis.

Once you have a clear understanding of each of these, you will be in a powerful position to be able to handle people and situations in a calm, dignified and effective manner.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, then please share it with your family and friends. Remember, knowledge shared is knowledge gained ;)

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Image Credit: The Round Peg

About Meredith Forder

Meredith is a writer, speaker, Self awareness mentor and the founder of Clear Thinking. She spends her time helping people discover their purpose and realise their potential, so that they can live happy and fulfilled lives. For more information please visit: