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How do you deal with disappointment?

By Ben Kubicek,

Today we have a guest editorial as Steve is out of the office.

Disappointment is hard. People can and sometimes do disappoint us. The way events or projects turn out can disappoint us. It would be nice if people never let us down, but they do from time to time. It would be great if projects always went the way we thought they should. Unfortunately, disappointing things happen so, how do we deal with them?

Clearly, when we experience disappointment in our lives, there are many possible reactions we can have to it.  We can feel, pain, sorrow, hurt, etc.  Some of us, being more introverted, when we experience these emotions withdraw even further into ourselves.  Although, this is an understandable reaction, it is not necessarily a mature one.

So after the initial reaction has faded, it is time to be an adult.  It is time to express ourselves, and properly communicate our feelings in a respectful way.  We don’t need to give people the silent treatment or take a 2-hour lunch as we sulk.  When has acting that way ever helped a situation?

Recently, a new project came up at work. An old printing engine needed to be re-written and a few of us got together to discuss how it might be re-architected and designed to better meet our current needs. One co-worker felt a bit left out.  This co-worker is currently the one who does a lot of the support for the current printing engine. This person hasn’t shown any initiative with the old printing engine as far as re-writing it or trying to fix some of the issues we are experiencing with it. Anyway, this co-worker was feeling disappointed that they were being left out of the process. Instead of communicating this, this person got quiet, was gone all afternoon and resolved themselves that they would just be left out of the process.

Again, this co-worker’s response makes sense. Yet, in general, behaving this way is not going to get you what you want. Still, it got me thinking. How often have I let my emotions get the better of me? How often have I acted more like a child when I didn’t get my way or I when I was treated poorly?

In the end, we did pull the co-worker in to participate in the process and everything is working out. Still, we would have thought much better of our co-worker if they just would have come and said, “I want a more active role in this process.” Adults should properly communicate themselves with others, not give in to childish tendencies.

So how about you? Share a time you let emotions get the best of you. What would you do differently if you have a chance to do it over again?

 
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