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Disappointment

What Is It?

Disappointment is an emotion that can happen when something does not turn out how expected or expectations are not met. Feeling disappointed is a part of coping with the challenges of life. We cannot always be first, win, or get what we want, and children/youth need to build skills to deal with disappointment.

What Does It Feel Like?

Disappointment can show up differently.

It can feel like:

  • Sadness
  • Hurt feelings
  • Anger or irritation
  • Embarrassment or shame
  • Blaming self or others
  • Bitterness or spite
  • Betrayal
  • Feeling let down
  • Lump in your throat
  • Feeling like crying
  • Feeling not good enough/worthy

How to Cope With It?

Disappointment is a part of life. Things do not always turn out the way we expect or would like. Feeling disappointed can be a learning opportunity. Learning skills to deal with disappointment is an important part of life.

Building the skills of resiliency can help deal with the trials of life and disappointment.

Other ways to help children/youth deal with disappointment:

  • Understand the feeling and recognize it is valid
  • Looking at the situation and understanding what is in one’s control
  • Look at our expectations and checking that they are reasonable
  • Feeling the feelings
  • Reassessing goals and needs
  • Looking at the big pictures
  • Talking to a loved one
  • Express the feelings (art, movement, journaling, music, talking, etc)
  • The disappointment is not you

Further Resources

If you would like to speak to someone about mental health issues, the Alberta Health Services Mental Health Help Line is available 24/7, offering information and referrals on any aspect of mental health.

Call toll-free: 1-877-303-2642

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