Everybody faces disappointments – it’s just one of the facts of life. You can bounce back when life throws you a curve. Here’s how to respond to disappointments and setbacks in more constructive ways, courtesy of Johnathan Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis:
- You were passed over for promotion. It’s okay to feel lousy – for a while, but don’t display your feelings at work – where the anger and self-pity will go over like a lead balloon. Instead, share your feelings with a trusted friend – or write your thoughts in a journal. Once you calm down, talk to your boss, or someone in Human Resources. Find out if there’s something you’re doing – or not doing – that prevented the promotion, and ask how you can put yourself in line for the next one.
- You got lost and arrived late to a wedding or other important function. The answer: Go to Plan B. In other words, when you arrive, acknowledge your disappointment, but don’t let it detract from the event. For example, if you missed a wedding ceremony, congratulate the newlyweds, ask another guest to describe what you missed, and enjoy the reception.
- You want to be closer to your sister, or a friend, now that you both have kids, but she doesn’t seem interested. Consider this: it may not be the closeness she’s rejecting – just the plans you want to make. For example, if you want her family to come over for Sunday dinner, but that’s the only time all week that she gets to relax. So, ask her what she’d prefer to do, like going to lunch and a movie just the two of you.