Interpersonal EDGE: Drowning in Disappointment? Here's Your Way Out
Saturday, March 13, 2010

By Dr. Daneen Skube

Tribune Media Services
Q. Last year I faced one disappointment after another at work. I try to look on the bright side, but my attitude is becoming bitter. My boss is giving me feedback that people are noticing my cynicism. How do I keep my attitude from ruining my job?
A. Be grateful most people lack telepathy. Since your coworkers' can only react to what you say and do - you need to change your external behavior.
The most challenging aspect about dealing with disappointment is we tend to feel powerless. If we're superstitious, we may start to think we're cursed or must have behaved really badly in a past life.
Disappointment shoves each of us into a crossroads. We can take the self-pity path and life will keep getting worse. The other option is to take the self-accountability path and figure out what part we play in our bad luck.
For the record, I am not saying that work or personal life can't seem to veer out of our control. What I am saying is that we always have control over how we react to what is happening to us.
I find a secret of peaceful, effective and successful people is they put all their energy into changing anything that is within their control, no matter how bad their luck becomes.
Another secret of dealing with disappointment is to take the time to grieve the truth in the saying, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." When what you wanted and what you get is different, you will feel sad. If you take the time to acknowledge the loss, you'll be able to focus on a new plan faster.
To shift your external behavior at work, realize that no one at work will help you because you look miserable. We are all guilty occasionally of moping at work hoping someone will come to our rescue. In reality, moping just makes everyone want to avoid us.
Next, get a plan on how you are still going to go after what you want. If you know you can't get it in your current job, start looking around. Don't ignore opportunities like more education or volunteer work to put you in closer contact with what you love.
Disappointment forces all of us to think outside the box of our previous plan. We don't have to give up what we dream about. We do need to put together a new road map to arrive at our destination.
The last word(s)
Q. I have a coworker who is constantly making outrageous demands for my time and assistance. Why can't he see he is out of line?
A. For some people, getting lost in thought is unfamiliar territory. When you coworker says something outrageous, paraphrase to force him to think about what he said.
Daneen Skube, Ph.D., executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker. You can contact Dr. Skube at or 1420 NW Gilman Blvd., #2845, Issaquah, WA 98027. Sorry, no personal replies.INTERPERSONAL EDGE. DISTRIBUTED BY TMS

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