Dealing With Disappointment When Friends Let You Down
Over time, you established a trusting friendship with someone. You truly believed that your friend had your best interests at heart. When you've encountered a situation when friends let you down when you really believed they would have your back, you're left feeling shocked, sad, and disheartened. You're likely to spend time mulling over questions like, "How could my friend do this to me?" or "How could I have so badly misjudged their character?"
Managing Your Feelings When Friends Let You Down
It's normal to feel sad and disappointed for a short time when friends let you down. It's unhealthy to let those feelings consume your thoughts for long periods of time. Allow yourself some time to feel sad and to process your feelings about the situation.
Occasionally, you may run into a friendship that begins well and ends up toxic. In most cases, when friends let you down, it's less about what your friends did, and more about how you're thinking about what they did. It may take a little objective, mental work on your part to separate the two. The credentialed counselors at BetterHelp.com are just a phone call away to help you sort through your feelings and gain a healthier perspective.
Considering Your Friend's Perspective
As hurt as you may be, it's usually worthwhile to approach your friend about how you are feeling. The type of approach that you use can make all the difference on whether it goes sour or turns out well.
Make time to have a discussion about it in person. These types of discussions don't usually bode well in emails, text messages, or phone calls. There is too much room for something that you say to be misinterpreted.
Can you see things from a different perspective? Ask your friend if something is going on with them that caused them to act so out of character. Be prepared to listen to their explanation. You may find that their intentions were not mean-spirited after all. Make a point to maintain your composure, and avoid saying anything out of hurt or anger. This isn't the time to be passive-aggressive or use sarcasm. Rather, be open and honest about your feelings. Remember to treat your friend the way that you would want to be treated if the tables were turned.
Offering Grace When Friends Let You Down
After allowing yourself some time to get over the initial disappointment of feeling let down, you will feel less like a victim when you make an attempt to offer grace. Refrain from retelling the story with other friends over and over again. Forgive your friend and move on. If you can't forgive them, accept the situation for what it is, and offer them grace. Giving them some dignity in spite of the situation allows you the opportunity to get rid of your bitterness. More importantly, be cognizant that your response to the situation is a reflection of your character.
The Scope of Friendship Over a Lifetime
There's an old saying that says, "Friends come into your life for a season, a reason, or a lifetime." Where do these friends fit into the scope of your life? What did you learn from the experience? Is this a friendship worth saving? The answers to these questions should guide your next steps.
Be aware that it takes time to work through the disappointment when friends let you down. Give yourself the time that you need. Don't dwell on it for too long and don't hang on to hard feelings forever.