5 Essential Tips For Finding Joy In Difficult Life Situations

by Erin Kelly
Ashley Batz / Bustle

We’ve all been there: You got rejected by someone you weren't even that into, watched a job promotion go to the least deserving person in the office, or got caught being super petty about a friend. Hey, it happens! Downers like this are part of life, and there’s no shortage of them — but that doesn’t stop that "ugh, seriously!?" feeling from bubbling up when they happen.

No matter how much you try to avoid it, you can't control or predict the unexpected turbulence that's bound to arise every once in awhile. What you can control, though, is how you respond to life's little hiccups. So in the spirit of finding joy when life gives you major annoyances, we've teamed up with Cupcake Vineyards to give you the inspiration you need to change the way you respond to these situations.

Here are 5 essential tips for finding the bright side in the less-than-ideal life experiences.

1. Your office nemesis gets the promotion you wanted

When you pour your blood, sweat, and tears into your work, not getting the promotion you’ve been working for can be a huge blow to your ego. What's worse? Watching it go to the least deserving person you can think of.

But instead of letting yourself be consumed by resentment or talking trash at the water cooler, look at this as the *perfect* opportunity to schedule a meeting with your boss to talk about your job trajectory. Ask exactly what you need to do to accomplish your goals, and be open to feedback. Your boss will admire your initiative and the next thing you know, it may just be YOU who's getting the promotion.

2. You get dumped by someone you feel 'meh' about

Q: What's *almost* as bad as getting broken up with by the love of your life?

A: Getting broken up with by someone that you weren't even that into. It sounds contradictory, but there's no worse irony than feeling wishy-washy about someone you're dating, only to have THEM do the dumping. Talk about a bruised ego.

Even if you feel irritated AF (and trust us, you will), remember that the end of one relationship is the perfect time to breathe some life back into another — and that's the relationship you have with yourself. So sign up for that class you’ve been wanting to take, plan a getaway with a friend, or watch that show your ex hated.

And don't you DARE feel bad for yourself — you're so much better off without them.

3. You get caught bad-mouthing your bestie's significant other

It’s never okay to talk badly about a good friend, but when it comes to their SO, all bets are off. OK, maybe that's not an official rule, but who hasn't wanted to vent about the rumpled boyfriend who appeared out of nowhere and suddenly started sucking up all of your BFF's free time?

The downside of this kind of venting, however, is the risk you run that your words will find their way back to your friend. Gulp.

If this does happen, you probably won't be able to stop the inevitable hurt your friend feels, but that doesn’t mean your relationship needs to end. Apologize (with their favorite wine and flowers, of course!), then use the situation as an opportunity to have an honest conversation with your friend about what’s been bothering you. You may just walk away with a stronger connection because you took the time to listen to each other’s feelings.

4. You get stood up on a very ~public~ date

Dating is hard enough, so it can make you want to shrink into the floorboards when you're all dolled up, waiting for your date at a crowded bar, and you find out that they're not coming. Like at all. Nightmare scenario: activated.

But just because your date's a total jerk doesn't mean you have to slink out of the bar and sulk all the way home. Use this #datingfail as an opportunity to have some quality 1:1 time with yourself, accompanied by a glass of good wine, of course! And hey, you're already dressed up and lookin' good, so why not hang out at the bar a while longer and keep an eye out for any attractive strangers who may also be flying solo?

5. You accidentally-on-purpose spent your entire paycheck on a purse

It happens to the best of us — some days you walk into the store to buy a pair of socks and end up blowing next month's rent on a handbag.

But instead of wallowing in buyer's remorse-induced panic and heading to the local hospital to try to sell a kidney, use this moment as a learning experience and an opportunity to take control of your finances going forward. Once you own up to your spending habits (no matter how lavish...), you can start educating yourself on how to have a thriving financial future!

And honestly, just keep the bag — you deserve it.

This post is sponsored by Cupcake Vineyards.