CFAES Give Today
OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

May 28, 2020 - 3:45pm --

I waited all day for a package. It never came. I felt a little sad and all I wanted to do was eat some junk food. Did I binge and get upset? No, I understood that amid COVID-19 more people are shopping online, I understood that my order was a luxury and not a necessity. How do I deal with disappointment, it’s a typical pattern.

Address Disappointment

Whenever I am disappointed, the first thing I do is articulate that disappointment in a constructive manner. I talk to a loved one or do so privately in writing. This is not a time to be bold or rash. This is a time to accept the reality that I am flawed.

Understand Disappointment

I have reflected and I have wallowed, Am I disappointed because I had a plan and now that plan has changed? Is it because I did not get what I wanted? Is it because I need more information? Yes, yes and yes. Understanding your own disappointment is important to moving on.

Understand Context

I am a storyteller; I like a good narrative. I need to know a little about the narrative. Whether real or imagined, I need a story to accompany my understanding.

For example, I am not 100% sure why my deliver is late but, COVID-19 certainly has something to do with it. They were not essential items so; I have to assume that someone needed toilet paper or something equally as important.

Develop Alternatives

I need to identify a new project or task. That might be just sitting down and eating some food, relaxing, that might be moving some plants in my yard. That might even be painting a wall but, I must move on.

Accept Reality

Acceptance is key. I cannot harp on that enough. The sooner I come to grips with disappointment, the better. Acceptance is not the understanding or the alternatives. Acceptance is you succeeding despite a disappointment.


Disappointment is a part of life. We cannot escape it. Anyone who gets excited about something or loves someone will be disappointed. No one is perfect, so system is perfect, no day is perfect. Perfection is the enemy of happiness. So, accept your disappointment, know you are not alone and enjoy life for what is in front of you right now.