Causing Disappointment For Others
It’s a fact of life; sometimes we will make decisions or do things that will disappoint others. It’s unavoidable, but as Mel Robbins says, “the fact that they will be disappointed should never be the reason that you don’t do something that is aligned with your values.” Such great advice. I’m referring to any decision that is a positive move for you, but may cause disappointment for someone you love, such as your lifestyle choice, your career, where you live, and who you marry, or if you marry and if you have kids. You can’t let other people’s opinions or the fact that you know your decision will create disappointment, rob you of what you know is good for you. What you know is good for you however, hinges on how well you know yourself and what you value.
They Still Love You
The intention is not to be uncaring or disrespectful to people. You can help them understand it, minimize the disappointment, explain your reasons, etc. if you want to. Just because you’re about to disappoint, or have already disappointed someone doesn’t mean they’re angry with you or they don’t love you. It just means they feel disappointed. Don’t put more weight on it than is necessary.
What We’re Afraid Of
Someone you love gave you something and you’re thankful for it. You may have used it often. As your life changes though, you may not have time, space or need for this item anymore. Now you’re worried that getting rid of it will hurt the person who gave it to you, so you keep it. You look at it, walk around it, and now resent its presence. Why?
You’re afraid to hurt the giver’s feelings when they discover it gone. In the meantime, you’ve got all this resentment building up, and for what? It doesn’t negate the appreciation you felt or the use you got from the item. But things change. Your life changes; your needs change, your kids grow up, your taste and style changes. If you currently have no use for the item, it’s time to re-home, recycle or get rid of it. Your world has to work for you, not against you. Don’t worry about disappointing someone.
What About Leaving People?
If you’ve been wanting to work in a different field, or you want to move to another part of the country, or the world…why are you not doing it? Yes, there are many things to consider. Your parents, kids or friends will miss you and you will miss them. You may not get to see them over the years when/if you can’t get back home. But should you miss out on what makes your heart happy because you feel safe in the life you have here?
Being comfortable is not necessarily a good thing; comfortable in the sense that you’re not taking risks, not growing, learning or experiencing new things. There’s a whole world out there! If you feel the itch to go someplace you’ve only dreamed of, what are you waiting for? Besides waiting for the covid pandemic to be over of course. Now is a good time to make plans.
Be Free To Share Your Opinions
What about sharing your opinion, speaking your truth? Rather than walk on eggshells, worrying about how someone will react (or maybe you know how they will react), you are entitled to politely speak your opinion. We can’t NOT share, because we are constantly on edge about how others will feel. Politely, go ahead and share. You never know; it may open up a beautiful empathetic conversation between you both.
Speak Your Truth
So many times, people dance around an issue, or avoid it altogether when they fear that they will disappoint someone. Often, we will lie (a little white lie) making excuses rather than speaking the truth about something for fear of disappointing someone. Now you’re compromising your values. As Mel Robbins says, when you do this “you are creating a strategy to avoid creating a scene.” She says to ask ourselves what happened when you started telling lies in order to avoid creating a scene. Maybe you downplayed something in order to prevent your parents from getting angry. Maybe you were scared, sad or had hurt feelings, but lied because you didn’t want a scene or confrontation to happen with the person who hurt you. I think we will all be better off, if we learn to be honest with ourselves and others about our feelings.
Live YOUR Life
As I mentioned in a previous blog post on decision making (particularly under the Dig Deep~ section) it’s not good to live according to someone else’s agenda just so you won’t disappoint them. It is good to be sympathetic to someone’s opinion, but you can’t live for other people. Sometimes parents are unintentionally trying to live through their kids; sometimes kids are trying to live according to their parents’ standards and values, but both parents and kids need to find balance, understanding each other, but maintaining their own values. Living your life with your own values in mind is the only way you will find fulfillment. If you disappoint someone by living your own life, it’s up to that person to manage his/her own feelings of disappointment.
FOCUS ON THE FUTURE~
On The Flip Side…
I watched a YouTube video by Dr. Nicole LePera, The Holistic Psychologist in which she gives us tips for dealing with our emotions when someone disappoints us, and a reminder that “sometimes we feel triggered when someone disappoints us.” Here are her tips for what to say when someone disappoints you:
- I love you and I’m hurt about what happened.
- I understand why you did that. I hope you can understand why it makes me uncomfortable.
- I see why that situation was difficult for you and I’m feeling [enter your emotion] because of how that affected me.
- I hear that you didn’t think this would be a big deal. I need you to understand why it feels like a big deal for me in this moment.
- This wasn’t intentional, I understand, but it brings up a lot from my past conditioning.
Dr. Le Pera says that giving a “security statement” such as I love you, or I understand, or I hear, can help to avoid a defensive reaction from the other person. It doesn’t accuse the other person, it’s just objective.
Can You Let Go?
Another piece of great advice comes from Marisa Peer nutritionist, psychotherapist, relationship therapist, motivational speaker and author. She says that we need to learn to “let go of taking things personally. How you handle disappointment is crucial to your emotional and mental well-being.” Sometimes, we just need to move on.
Here is a quote I’ve come to really appreciate- “to heal a wound, you have to stop touching it” – author unknown
…food for thought
Thanks for reading. Check back next Sunday for my next post~ Carol Paino, Parts Of Ourselves