Ways to deal with friendship letdowns
I, like many people, don’t deal with disappointment well. That may seem like a fairly obvious and widely shared sentiment, but I truly believe some people handle life’s letdowns better than others.
It may be something of a tired saying, but the only control we have in this life is over our reactions and ourselves.
One of the main recurring themes in my favorite non-fiction read is the following: event + responses = outcomes.
When it comes to friendships — where I find some of the heaviest disappointments can stem from — I like to keep the following in mind before any events, during my response and often, as a credit to my outcomes:
Often we put the people closest to us on a pedestal that they neither earned nor asked to be placed upon. We set them so high up that we can barely reach them ourselves.
Inevitably, we suffer massive shock and disappointment when these people ultimately fail to live up to the expectations we have set for them.
We handed them impossible tasks, set the bar way too high and then found ourselves bewildered on the sidelines as they missed the mark we must have known they could never hit.
It’s easy enough to do, to set ideals upon others that we, ourselves, feel we can’t achieve, but it isn’t fair.When looking to others for inspiration or guidance, be sure you aren’t looking through rose-colored glasses.
People cannot give more than they have, and they certainly cannot become people they are not.
If you need something to look to, try working on it from within, before projecting your own needs onto others, because it just isn’t fair or feasible for someone else to live up to your set standards.
Try to conquer things by yourself
Avoid asking for favors you could accomplish yourself with some added effort. You’ll find yourself relying on others, where you might have easily and more quickly gotten the job done yourself.
No one wants to shut down a friend in need, but not everyone has the time or energy to put your tasks at the top of his or her list, which means your little “to-do” becomes bottom shelf on someone else’s task list.
Now, a small chore on your end is now a burden on the both of you.Do it for you before asking someone else to do so; you’ll find it may actually get done when and how you had hoped it would.
Keep it all in perspective
It just isn’t realistic to think you can avoid ever getting your hopes up when it comes to the friendships and relationships in your life.It’s going to happen and sometimes, it’s going to work out and sometimes, it’s going to be an epic fail.
When this happens — and it will — try to keep perspective about the situation. Few of life’s disappointments will warrant a complete mental breakdown.
Take the time you need to figure it out for yourself before engaging with someone else when you’re not yet ready. You’ll find you will return with a clear head and more objective view of events; this is the only way you’ll be able to resolve an issue with another person.
Get over it
Now for a little tough love: Get over it. Take it from someone who, for a long time, would’ve loved nothing more than to adopt a perma-pout and hold a grudge until I was blue in the face.
This solves nothing beyond conveying you are an overgrown child with conflict-resolution issues.
It takes two people to create the blows, but only one to walk away and move on.
Life is too short to spend at war with all of the unfair bits of it. Odds are, you’ve been dealt some uniquely awesome cards in your life, and those are worth focusing on.
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