We crave a sense of community because we are social creatures, and friendships give us this and so much more. But, as we become older, it feels like a more difficult chore to make new acquaintances. What makes matters worse is when friends fail you, which makes it even tougher to trust others and open up to new individuals. Emotions like sadness, remorse, humiliation, and even social anxiety can arise as a result of being let down by people you trust and regard as an important part of your social circle. It can be difficult to control this emotional reaction to rejection since it makes us wonder about the sincerity of each potential and current friendship.
When friends let you down
We all have different kinds of friends in our life, and we frequently rely on each sort of buddy for a certain reason. Consequently, it should go without saying that you simply cannot expect the same level of reciprocation from each of your friends because each friendship’s depth and intensity are different and cannot be compared. In truth, there are innumerable ways in which we can feel let down by various people, and not all actions – or absence of actions – will have an equal effect on us. For instance, I’ve experienced hurt when friends have forgotten to invite me to events or when someone I thought of as a trusted friend has betrayed me by disclosing information I had discussed with them in confidence.
Nevertheless, discovering that I was only a friend out of need for someone I genuinely thought of as my closest friend was the most heartbreaking experience of friendship disappointment for me. I learned from this experience how important it is to modify your expectations for each friendship. It is true that friendship goals matter, and it is crucial to consciously establish and manage reasonable expectations in each connection.
Although friendships have a tremendous amount of power, there are times when our experiences and disappointments with friends cause us to doubt our friendships. Yet it’s vital to keep in mind that not all of your friends will disappoint you, and some of them will always be ready to support you, no matter what. Hence, if you’re feeling let down by pals and unsure of how to manage the situation, here are seven methods that can assist you deal with the situation.
1. Take time to understand and process your feelings
Sometimes being let down by a buddy can make you want to snap or act hastily. Which is why removing yourself from the circumstance and assessing it with kindness and acceptance might help you avoid acting hastily. As you begin by recognizing your emotions, make sure to give yourself the time and space to process them. If at all possible, attempt to examine the situation with more objectivity.
Even in kindness, ask yourself: “Why does this make me feel unloved or hurt? If it had been someone else, would I have felt otherwise? May I try approaching this from a different angle?” It can be very challenging to feel empathy for oneself or others when you are disappointed in friends. Yet, channeling acceptance rather of impulsively turning to furious thoughts or acts can assist you in seeing that the other person may not have meant to hurt you.
2. Avoid assumptions
The majority of us have been guilty of getting frustrated and believing the worst after a buddy let us down. For instance, I’ve frequently been let down by friends and have even doubted their motives when they hang out without me or when I expect on them to attend a gathering, but they are unable to.
We never really know, though, what is going on in someone else’s personal life or what kind of crisis they are going through. In fact, we can avoid misdirected resentment or wrath growing up towards someone or the circumstance by refusing to assume the motives behind someone’s behavior or actions. At the same time, refrain from thinking that their current behavior is your fault.
3. Talk it out with the friend
Every good connection, including friendships, benefits greatly from effective communication. At first, you might be hesitant to express your emotions or tempted to avoid conflict. But, when friends disappoint you, it’s best to be frank with them and handle the problems head-on. Keep in mind that the purpose of this is to express your feelings and learn the truth about what occurred, not to assign unfair blame by drawing hasty assumptions.
Use “I feel” statements to address actions that have hurt your feelings rather than sounding defensive by using “you are” or “you always do this.” Similar to this, try to listen to your friend’s explanation of their perspective on the matter with awareness, sincere interest, and without passing judgment. It’s true that sometimes having a constructive conversation can help us become better friends and make our relationships even stronger.
4. Get an outside perspective
It’s time to try and see things from your friend’s perspective now that you’ve addressed the problems and expressed your thoughts to them. Consider whether your friend let you down on purpose or possibly by error. You can see the problem differently by changing your perspective and taking into consideration the fresh knowledge discovered through this dialogue.
Consider your contribution to the situation as well. Think about whether your feelings are totally justified and whether you might have contributed in any way to the occurrence of such a circumstance while resisting the need to feel guilty or self-blame. Now you can examine the matter more objectively and perhaps come to a resolution.
5. Reassess the situation
It’s time for you to pick up the phone right now because your friendship definitely depends on it. You must be open and manage your expectations in your friendships just like you would in any other connection. Think first about what the friendship means to you and how your friends handle your social demands and expectations. Do these buddies routinely let you down, leaving you feeling unworthy of them?
Alternately, a genuine buddy can have disappointed you unintentionally or once. Think about how your friend reacted when you expressed your unhappiness to them. Do you have faith that you two were able to resolve your differences?
6. Forgive earnestly and move on
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, not every friendship can endure indefinitely. The failure of the friendship, however, was not your fault, and you are not responsible for the choices or acts of others. You can let go of animosity and proceed in life by learning to forgive others and yourself. Decide to take satisfaction in the fact that you bravely decided to stand up against poor behavior and tried your best to resolve a problem with grace and respect rather than languishing in hatred and hurt.
7. Consider getting professional help
If you’re still confused about what to do when friends disappoint you, think about getting advice from a specialist. Keep in mind that you don’t always have to be able to manage difficult situations like this with ease and that you don’t have to make your way through the rough waters by yourself. A qualified therapist can assist you in navigating the emotional upheaval that results from being let down by friends. Counseling can give you the tools you need to deal with these situations more easily, enabling you to live a life free of regret.