How Not To Care When You Don’t Get What You Want

Updated September 2, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Losing something you want can be a painful and frustrating experience. After all, who wants to be disappointed? No one. The best thing you can do when circumstances make it impossible for you to have what you desire is to learn how not to care. Here are some tips to help you put disappointments in the past and move on to enjoy what is yours to have.

Frustrated By Not Getting What You Want?

Enjoy What You Already Have

Maybe you've been spending too much time thinking about what you lack rather than enjoying what you have. Start a list of the things you've wanted and received in the past. Look around you. notice the good things you have in your life right now. If what you wanted was a new video game, go back and play a game you'd set aside and forgotten about. If it was a new car, think about all the miles you've driven in your old car and the good trips you had with it.

Sometimes in life people have a tendency to focus on what is shiny and new. The truth is that most people are very fortunate and have many nice things that they can feel gratitude toward. There is nothing wrong with taking a step back and feeling grateful for the things in your life. Spending some time appreciating what you do have instead of pining for something else will be healthier behavior. You just might stop caring that you didn't get what you wanted—and you may save yourself some money.

Focus On Something New

When you're denied something you want very much, it's natural to focus on that item, activity or person. But this behavior isn't always helpful. Instead, it's better to turn your attention to something different. This time consider whether it's something you have the power to obtain or something that will frustrate you again. Aim for fulfillable goals.

Remember that life will move on even when you didn't get what you initially wanted. If what you missed out on was some type of opportunity, then you can focus on capitalizing on the next one that becomes available. Remaining vigilant in life and focusing on your next goal is always going to be smart. You need to be able to recognize this, and move on, even when you are feeling disappointed about something.

Hobbies Can Help

Hobbies are actually very healthy for people. If you have a hobby, then you can put more energy into the hobby so that you will focus less on what is bothering you. There are so many different activities that you could get involved in that it will be easy to forget about not getting what you wanted. A hobby can be something as simple as playing a game, but you could also take up something like crocheting, woodworking, or any number of other things.

Exercise Is Great

Exercise is a fantastic way to help yourself feel better about losing out on something. Spending some time working on your physical fitness can help you both mentally and physically. It is important to try to stay healthy, and doing something good for your body can make you feel positive inside. If you are down in the dumps, then put some effort into your fitness routine. You just might be surprised by how easily it can help you to forget that you didn't get what you wanted.

Spend Time With Friends

Spending time with friends can help you put your feelings of loss or discontent in the past. This is especially true if what you wanted was a new relationship. If you want to have a romantic relationship with someone and can't have it right now, revisit old friendships that made you happy in the past. Go out and meet new people. You'll occupy yourself with building these new relationships or revive the old one. That thing you initially wanted will soon seem far less important.

Also, if you lost out on something like a promotion, then spending time with friends can really help you to feel better. Things don't always work out perfectly in life and you will go through struggles. Having friends that will be there for you through the good times and the bad will make it much easier to cope. You can spend some time having fun with people that you care about, and your troubles will not feel quite so big as they were before.

Think About What Really Matters In Life

Thinking about what really matters in life is going to be a good way to stop caring about not getting what you wanted. Often times, the things that people are upset about losing out on are just material items. At the end of the day, these things are just possessions that can be replaced. The things that really matter—such as family, friends, and love—are often free.

Spending some time focusing on what truly matters to you will help you to feel better. Call your parents and go out to dinner if you have not seen them in a while. Spend some time with your significant other and create some fun new memories. Experiences are almost always going to be more valuable to you than possessions. Take the time to enjoy the finer things in life that money cannot buy.

Volunteer To Help Others

Nothing cures regret over not getting what you want better than spending time with those who may not even have what they need. Volunteering at a homeless shelter or a food pantry can help you gain a better perspective on what really matters. A fancy new house might not seem as important when you see others who may not have a home at all. There is nothing wrong with desiring new things, but understanding how fortunate you are to have the necessities in life can be an eye-opening experience.

Being able to see how difficult life is for those who are struggling to get on their feet will change your mindset. You'll stop seeing those luxury items as being so important when you're faced with a new perspective like this. What truly matters is not going to be the material items that you desire. Helping out your fellow man can change your attitude, and it can also be a very fulfilling experience.

Help With Learning How Not To Care

Frustrated By Not Getting What You Want?

Do you still find it hard to put your unresolved desires in the past? Sometimes, when you've wanted something for a very long time, it's hard to let it go and move on. Fortunately, there are counselors available to help you find new ways to manage those strong desires. They can teach you coping techniques to help. You can put the sadness, frustration, and self-pity in the past where it belongs.

Research shows that online therapy is a powerful tool when addressing complicated feelings such as a lack of fulfillment or dissatisfaction from not getting what you want. In a study published in Behaviour Research and Therapy, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, researchers found that online therapy was effective when treating participants experiencing depression. Participants reported a decrease in symptoms related to depression, and an increase in quality of life and self-esteem. The report specifically notes the ability of online therapy to bridge the treatment gap. Online therapy closes this gap in treatment by eliminating certain barriers, such as time and geographical constraints, perceived stigma, and financial burden.

As mentioned above, online therapy is a useful method if you’re dealing with difficult emotions related to not having or achieving certain things. With BetterHelp, you’ll be able to participate in therapy from the comfort of your home, without having to go to an office or discuss your treatment plan with anyone but your therapist. Plus, you’ll have the option of remaining completely anonymous—simply select a “nickname” when you register, if you prefer. The mental health professionals at BetterHelp know how to help you move forward when times are difficult, and things don’t go your way. Read below for reviews of counselors, from those who have sought help in the past.

Counselor Reviews

“Jennifer has helped me change my life in many ways. She has supported me through grief and loss. She helped me in changing my toxic responses to everyday situations to nontoxic responses. She is amazing and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her help and guidance.” 

Jennifer Alford - (More reviews)


“Phoenix has been helping me for a few months now. He is amazing, completely understanding and so unbelievably great at pointing me in a direction and offering the tools and tips to allow me to progress and move on and forward. I was honestly blown away with how helpfully he is/was. Thanks Phoenix you're the best.”

Phoenix Rokni - (More reviews)



Whatever is going on in your life, you will be able to get help by focusing on those things in life that really matter. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, reach out to a counselor who can offer you advice to help you to move forward in life. Take the first step today.

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