How to Cope When You Don’t Get What You Want

Sarah-Jane got the promotion instead of me

I didn’t get my dream car

Jacob got to go on that trip and I didn’t

Sounds familiar?

It can be frustrating when you see others get what you want. Especially when it was bestowed upon them and you know for a fact that you deserved it more then them.

Personally, I’ve been in numerous situations like that, some are easily brushed off; some, I know, are going to take a lot more work and proactive effort on my part.

This isn’t a rant wrapped in self-pity.

It is about strategies to cope when situations like this arises.

Coping to me means containing and dealing with a situation in an appropriate; sustainable and self-enriching way. Appropriate and sustainable in this context means ensuring that the situation does not adversely affect other areas of your life and other people that you care about.

Below is my guideline to dealing with such situations, please note, that the tips below are not going to work for everyone. You need to cope with your situations as best as you can and if you do need help, talk to your loved ones or seek the help of professionals.

1) Get angry…privately

Especially if it happened in a work place, be diplomatic, hold your tongue and let it simmer. Once you are out of that space and you are ‘safe’, let loose! Rant with a friend (who you can trust to listen to you but not fuel the fire), go to the gym, but do not put your hand into the candy jar- you’re only going to feel worse, trust me.

2) Talk it out…with someone not involved in the situation

After you are done being angry (might take a couple of goes before you are satisfied) find someone (might be the same person you ranted to) to nut out what it is you are feeling. It’s optimal that this person is removed from the situation so that you can get a relatively impartial view and who you can trust to help you see the situation from different perspectives. It will not be easy when they point out something may not be what you want to hear, but try and listen.

3) Re-live the situation in a positive way

Once you are all talked out, find some time to sit quietly and reflect on the situation. Now, feel how you want to feel– re-live the experience in a positive way. This can be tricky at first, especially if it is something big. You have to convince yourself that it was a positive event.

Sarah-Jane is a great person and I’m glad she got the job

I’m still holding out for my dream car

Jacob went on an amazing trip!

4) Where to from here?

Once you’re confident that you have made peace with a situation, celebrate it, more importantly, celebrate YOU! Think about what you are good at (see asset mapping in life’s nudges and asset mapping, 2 of my previous posts.) Review the goals you have set for yourself. It may change, it may not, it may become more specific.

I think I’m going to go for the project officer role as I think I’m going to enjoy it better

I still want that dream car

Jacob said that South America was great, but now I’ve got my eyes set on New York

These are 4 simples steps that I used countless times- it’s easy to keep in mind, however, everyone is different and will have different ways. I hope that this may have helped someone out there. Please remember, if you require it, go and see a professional. If you’d like some assistance, please feel free to contact me using the form below.


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