Sadly, other people will inevitably disappoint you or let you down. Whether it's a friend cancelling arrangements at the last minute, or family members not showing to an important occasion. It doesn’t matter what it is, it hurts.
Fortunately, there are a few things that will help you recover and begin to move forward.
1. Allow your feelings.
Being rejected, let down, or betrayed does not feel great. Whatever you are feeling, acknowledge and don’t try shove it down. Put the feeling into words and locate where you feel it in your body. This is going to ground you. Once you have done that ask yourself if what you are feeling is appropriate for the situation? It might just be triggered from something your past.
2. Acknowledge your unmet needs.
The next step is to figure out why you feel this way. Maybe you needs are not being met? Do you need understanding, empathy, support, companionship, commitment, or consideration? Let yourself feel the unmet need. Talk to someone about it. Feel the disappointment of the unmet need, and then ask yourself whether you can accept that need not being met in this situation, or whether you want to do something about it.
3. Take care of yourself.
Are there ways you can meet the unmet need for yourself? For example, if you have a plan to see a movie, and your friend cancels at the last minute, go by yourself. Maybe another friend wants to come? Just be compassionate and don’t let resentment get the better of you.
4. Decide if you need to speak up.
Think about whether it would be useful to speak up about your feelings. If you decide to speak up, do it mindfully – getting could make things worse. If it's a difficult conversation, practice what you're going to say beforehand.
5. Examine your expectations.
Think about whether your expectations are reasonable in this situation, and whether the other person is capable of doing what you expect. Maybe you need adjust your expectations, or even just communicate them clearly. If it's a good friend or loved one, assume that they had the best intentions, unless you have evidence to say otherwise.
6. Set boundaries if you need to.
If someone continually disappoints you, maybe it’s time to point some boundaries in place. Maybe you can see them less, or not see them at all. Either way, make it clear that if they hurt again, there will be consequences. Stick to your boundaries, they will make you safe.
Most importantly, try to learn from the experience, and don't let other people's issues get you down. You can choose how to react, even if you didn't choose the situation.
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