How are we supposed to handle disappointment?

How are we supposed to handle disappointment?
It is one of those facts of life that we will be disappointed. During the course of our lives, we will be disappointed many times. Some disappointments happen so often that we learn to ignore them altogether. Other disappointments can shatter our confidence, weaken our trust and faith, and even potentially weaken and destroy relationships.

It’s easy enough to dismiss the minor disappointments. These minor disappointments can be anything ranging from:
  • Our favourite ice cream is no longer being sold.
  • Our sports team didn’t win.
  • We didn’t get the response we were expecting from someone.
We can usually brush these instances aside and say, “Ah, well.”  We can do this because these are rather commonplace instances of disappointments faced on a semi-regular or regular basis. More often than not, these are also not major enough to cause any issue beyond minor emotional discomfort. It is easy to contextualise the minor disappointments exactly because their importance and impact isn’t very high. Just brush it off.
However, this method of dismissing our disappointment can have a negative side effect. Learning to brush away our disappointments too often can make us justify brushing off major life disappointments.
Major disappointments can be:
  • Not getting a promotion we have worked for years towards.
  • Failure and dissolution of a relationship or friendship.
  • Betrayal by someone important to us.
The most immediate impact is to our emotional and mental well-being. Losing trust in someone and feeling betrayed can have a catastrophic effect on our relationships with people. It can create distrust, suspicion, and cause us to distance ourselves from people who are important. Losing an important career opportunity is a big deal and can hold back dreams and plans for the future. These are potentially life altering situations where we place a lot of our hope and dreams into. When they don’t come to fruition, it’s understandable to feel an immense sense of disappointment over the outcome, and often, even disappointment in ourselves.
One of the most difficult thing to do in such a situation is to sit down and really talk to someone about it. We need to talk to someone about our hopes and aspirations, our expectations, and our feelings about things not working out as we hoped. Holding it inside, or hiding it behind anger and lashing out doesn’t make it go away. Trying to brush it off also won’t work for the long term until these things are verbalised and addressed.
Our friends and family may also be coming to us to talk about these very things, and we become their counsellors. Are we listening properly, and are we able to positively guide them during this process?

Join us at College of Allied Educators to learn how you can overcome your disappointments, fears and setbacks, and to unlock your innermost self to find success and happiness.


Diploma in Counselling Psychology (DCPSY) is a Skillsfuture claimable counselling course covering a range of conceptual and functional skills in counselling. It trains students to apply appropriate counselling psychology skills in different situations, and equips students with the ability to work effectively as a counsellor.


Advanced Diploma in Counselling Psychology (ADICP) is a Skillsfuture claimable counselling course  and trains students to apply appropriate counselling skills in different situations while understanding their underlying theories. The ADICP programme introduces students to the nature of psychology and relates it to the theories and concepts of counselling. Students move on to explore themselves in order to promote personal growth and self-awareness, acquiring the key attributes of a competent counselor and the proper methods of applying those skills.


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