When things don’t go your way, when people don’t do what they said they would, when it takes so much longer for your dreams to come true that you start to doubt that they would ever come true at all, how do you deal?
If you’re someone who sets high standards for themselves, who has a tendency to overwork — or simply someone who likes to have checklists and timetables, it can be so easy to hold everyone else (including the universe) to your metrics.
If you have a strong Judging function, you’d want things to be neat, orderly and established. There’s definitely nothing wrong with that. It’s just that we want things settled, rather than open-ended.
But because of this, we may have the tendency to attribute the failings to ourselves — thinking we are at fault or maybe not worthy of that goal. This also makes it so much harder to deal with a loss, whether personal or otherwise. On the other hand, we can also lash out and direct our anger toward others — those whom we perceive are the cause of this setback, regardless if their actions were intentional or not.
This feeling of being betrayed and let down — whether by ourselves or others, can cause us to overthink and go down an emotional spiral. As such, it’s important to be able to get a handle on it and deal with disappointments in a constructive manner.
The key is to NOT let bitterness take root.
It may be that our expectations were too high, or we weren’t given the information we needed at that time to be able to come up with a better plan. It could be that nature worked that way, we just didn’t know it because we haven’t uncovered all of the secrets of the universe just yet. It could be that your loved one is simply doing their best too, according to what they have. After all, people have their own life stories we know nothing about.
It could be that you just need to give yourself a break, take a breath, acknowledge how far you’ve come, and congratulate yourself for being able to make it thus far. It could be that you needed to learn a specific lesson or learn something new, but not necessarily as a punishment.
In the words of Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries in his Harvard Business Review article,
I guess there are only two ways to go about it after we’ve encountered a disappointing situation: change the situation, or accept the way things are.