What To Do When Someone Disappoints You

What To Do When Someone Disappoints You

When someone disappoints us it kind of feels like you’re standing still and not sure what to do. Anger, fear and sadness mix together. Questions start popping up all over the place. “What did I do?” “Was this my fault?” “Am I not good enough?” “Do I tell the person how I really feel?” “Should I never talk to them again?”

It is very easy to slip into the role of victim here and point your finger at them in judgment. So let that be our first example of a route you could go down. It wouldn’t be that difficult to talk about them behind their back, stew in private and write them off.

I personally believe this would catch up to you. I am the person who believes, “treat others the way you would want to be treated” – I’m extremely patient – and arguably too forgiving (if that is possible). I constantly remind myself ‘we are only human’. We are capable of pissing some people off, breaking promises, lying, cheating, gossiping, etc. We are also capable of expressing our love and appreciation as often as we want, staying faithful, doing good deeds, forgiveness, trusting in others, not judging, etc.

That is where our loneliest spot on Earth exists – the spot where we can choose. I can’t nudge into that spot with you to help you out. Your parents and friends can’t. That spot is only for you and you can choose any reaction or course of action you want! Knowing all the while that you are the only one that will have to live with yourself for whichever decision you make.

If you decide not to speak with a family member ever again, ok. If you decide to go to college when everyone else in your family didn’t, ok. If you decide to stay in a relationship that fulfills you or not, ok. Others may make passing judgment, but you will inevitably live with your own judgment until you take the difficult road of rectifying the situation.

All that said, I am advocating you take a step back from the situation and really think about it before reacting. Take a few days if you need to. Think if you did do anything to cause this person to disappoint you. We all have a role. Is this person important to you? Have they shown up for you before? Why did this hurt you so badly? Ask as many questions as you can think of. Only then can you logically work out the core issues and figure out what your best course of action is from here. Most often, we are disappointed because we had high expectations. Sometimes people just do shitty things (but they almost never do it intentionally).

Another thing to consider in moment of decision… Can you imagine what the other person will feel like, or how they will react, to your next actions? I do not make a decision based on this, but I do think about it.

Once I feel I’ve really looked at the situation from all angles and perspectives, I may even phone a friend or family member and ask advice. This is normal when this is a major disappointment and there are strings attached. I’m not sure what to do or if I’m ready to separate myself from the situation. When seeking counsel try your hardest to listen objectively. Take what all sides say, then really think about which parts feel true to you.

After carefully reviewing the whole situation I’ll react. That could mean I send a letter agreeing with the breakup, but thanking them for the good times. I could react by letting the person know they really hurt my feelings with x decision or comment and I had to let them know in hopes of finding common ground once more. There are a million different routes we can go down.

I just try to be fair, always come from my highest truth and lead by example. If I do those 3 things, at the end of the day, I know I did my best. I did the right thing. And the other chips will fall where they may.

We cannot be all things to all people all the time. But we can stand up for what we believe in. We can admit fault. We are human.

7 Comments on What To Do When Someone Disappoints You

  1. This is so true and touches me deeply. I have severed ties with dear friends over misunderstandings, where for the most part I failed to communicate my concern or hurt feelings, instead severing or pushing the person away. I now, immediately, will work to sort some of these relationships out. Friends and family are to be cherished and I for one have mad a decision not to lose them because of my own inability to reflect, ponder and communicate.

    Thanks Amber.

  2. shannon says:

    It is so true,,

  3. Clara Jane Ekman says:

    No matter what a situation is, there is always two sides to be told. When you have two sides you have two different opinions. And when someone has told their side to someone that was not involved in their situation, then that person that was being told something should definitely consider both sides. If it was just totally a misunderstanding of not knowing the ground rules, then the other person should not enter to that disagreement if it was between two other adults. It is like throwing gasoline into a burning fire and it will explode. Any disagreement should be worked out what it involves someone you care about. Life is too short to carry grudges and it will eat your heart out. You cannot be forgiven if you don’t forgive.

  4. Daisy says:

    I have got disappointed so many times by my sister like the other night she said she would do face masks with me and then said I won’t be long in the shower and then came out and said that it is to late to do them what egsactly was the point in saying we could do them if you weren’t going to do them I’m really upset because we were having a sister weekend and that all changed

    • Amber Ludwig says:

      I completely understand that feeling Daisy. I won’t say I know exactly how you feel, but I do understand being disappointed by a sister. My suggestion might be to “gently and respectfully” tell her how you felt. You could say something like, “In an effort to improve our relationship moving forward, I wanted to talk to you about the sister weekend we were supposed to have…” Then you could share about how you were really looking forward to it, and how you felt when she ended up doing something else. Communication is the KEY to any successful relationship (especially with our future husbands or wives). Practicing now with family allows us to be ready for stronger and better future relationships. Thank you for sharing Daisy and I hope things get resolved for you! <3

  5. dhinesh says:

    i just found this article very interesting as I’ve just been disapointed by a friend who is also a colleague.
    I’m just thinking how I will face her at work and talk to her because I really don’t know what to do – as you said its a mixed feeling of sad, fear, anger
    actually being the lead in my team, she complains about other people gossiping and I don’t do anything like the previous lead used to do, example supporting them in doing the daily work ( I lead a team of 7 ). Sometimes you are very busy and cannot support when they need it. I always been supportive with every one and most of them respect me but the friend who texted me and said that really disapointed me and it really hurts.
    There’s a lot to say but I’ll try to speak to some friends before making a decision.

  6. Shoko says:

    This really helped. Thank you.

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