Are you tired of feeling disappointed whenever a friend doesn’t meet your expectations?
We all experience disappointment at some point in our lives. It could be because your friend didn’t support you in a group argument or canceled an extensive tour at the last minute.
When friends disappoint you, it seems like all the time and effort you put into strengthening this bond was for nothing. There is a sense of loss that leaves you feeling betrayed and sad.
Not just that, telling them about your feelings can feel like presenting yourself as a Grade-A paranoid. Consequently, things become even worse.
The point is:
Feeling let down by a friend once or twice is not a big deal. But if your best bud is continuously not fulfilling your expectations, you should consider it seriously. Because disappointments are the minor events that cause friendship bonds to break.
So what can you exactly do when you’re stuck between whether to talk things out and rebuild the bond OR leave the person and move on with your life?
This article will teach you how to deal with when friends disappoint you step-by-step.
My Friend Disappointed Me, What Should I Do?
There are steps you should follow to solve this situation, but here is a quick fix on how to handle disappointment from friends:
It takes time to get over the feeling when friends disappoint you. Accept it and allow the emotions to pass through you. Distancing yourself from the person to weigh things out is a good idea. And one thing that you should avoid for sure is making impulsive decisions.
What To Do When Friends Disappoint You:
1. Allow Yourself To Feel Disappointment
We are human beings, and we will face betrayals and letdowns. These letdowns trigger feelings of sadness, anger, or anxiety. Try to let yourself feel what you feel. Don’t suppress your emotions and fake as it’s not that hard to go through them.
We all are the victims of our expectations, and when people close to us don’t come for us, we automatically feel negative.
Putting your emotions into words can help you to channel your feelings. Give yourself some time to analyze your feelings. Are they real? Are they appropriate to the situation, or are you overdoing them?
2. Separate The Facts From Emotions
Often it’s not about what the friend did to you but what you perceive that they did. Maybe your friend didn’t do it intentionally, and they have not a single damn idea that you are feeling betrayed.
Whenever facing this situation, you should allow yourself some time to process things. Sit and see what your emotions are making you feel and how much severe the condition actually is.
The best idea is to write down both in two columns as “How I am feeling hurt?” vs. “Why I am feeling hurt?”
This would make the situation steer clear before you, and you would be able to separate your sentiments from facts.
3. Take An Outsider’s Perspective.
As our emotions get in the way of our ability to analyze things clearly, we often need somebody to do this work for us.
When you are too close to the situation, it’s hard to sort through your feelings. Then the best thing to do is to approach a friend or any mature person who can listen to you.
This person should not be a mutual friend, so they can give nonjudgmental advice by seeing the whole situation unbiasedly.
And surprisingly, often we even don’t need their opinion on the matter. Just talking things out loud helps you decide what to do next.
4. Examine: Are Your Expectations Real?
You need to ask some questions to yourself. Are you expecting too much? Is the person before you able to fulfill those?
It might be possible your friend is too busy with their new job that they better not risk it for a tour. But you’re taking it in another way. Thus, it’s critical to reanalyze your expectations.
On the flip side, maybe your friend cannot meet a friendship’s needs. If that is the case, you either have to compromise on it or make your friend realize that it’s not how friendship works.
Another important thing is to communicate your expectations with your friend clearly. It would help both to get on the same page and decide who is acting wrong.
5. Talk Out
It’s a common confusion that what to say when someone lets you down. Simple, talk out. Approach them and ask them to have a mature conversation about it. Perhaps they didn’t mean to hurt you or are equally hurt as you.
Make a peaceful environment to talk things out. Communicate your expectations and how you feel about their actions.
But make sure not to make it a one-sided bitch-fest.
A real friend is always there to clear things up in the friendship, but if they refuse to even talk about it, you should consider it a big red flag.
6. Make Sure To Communicate Your Needs
Communicating your needs helps build a strong bond, whether with a friend, partner, or siblings. So make sure to tell your needs to your friend. Let them know what your idea of friendship is. What do you expect from them as a friend?
See, your friend doesn’t know it. Why? Because there is not such a thing as “universal needs of friendship.”
Maybe your friend doesn’t feel like attending the calls after midnight, but you expect them to do so. Tell them about it; that’s the only way out of this state.
7. Keep Their Good Traits In Mind
More often than not, when friends disappoint you, you start doubting the whole friendship at that time. Well, that makes the condition worse for you because you start seeing them out of your emotions.
Think about why you have been with them so far. Think of the times when they showed up for you or helped you get through your tough moments. There must be good traits in them that you were together as friends.
Don’t let your eyes only see this part of the picture. Instead, visualize the whole journey of your friendship. It will help you not take things in a biased way and lose a precious person just because of timely disappointments.
8. Redefine Your Bonds After Disappointment
Doubts cleared up or not; you may have to redefine the bond after facing this kind of situation in your friendship. Because often, we try to come back to friendship with the same enthusiasm, but you both don’t feel things like before.
If it is so, you need to be on different terms with your friend. You have to consider what role this friendship will play in my life now.
9. Check If You Are Giving Too Much
We feel disappointed by friends when we are not receiving what we are giving to them. Instead of feeling down, we need to ask ourselves if we are giving more than we should.
Maybe you have always been there for your friend ignoring your work when they were feeling bad. But when it was their turn, they excused themselves and left you feeling disappointed.
Well, here comes the need to set boundaries. Always be there for your friend but not at the expense of your routine. For instance, if they call you in the middle of an important meeting, tell them to contact you later when you are free from work.
10. Limit Your Friendship
Now that you have taken all the necessary steps to clear the fog between you and your friend, it’s time to decide how to take this relationship forward.
If things are still not working out and your friend still keeps disappointing you, you may better limit your friendship. Reduce your expectations and try to spend less time with them.
Decide what is better to share with them. Your most profound thoughts or just the lunch. It is better to increase the mental distance from them instead of completely cutting them off.
11. Build A Diverse Network Of Friends
If this person is your only friend of you, it might be possible you depend too much on them. And it is much more likely they will disappoint you again in the future because it is hard for them to meet all of your needs.
So try to develop diversified friendships. After all, when you have friends from different backgrounds, you don’t need to put the weight of your emotions on one single person.
One way to do this is by joining different help groups where you can find people of interest. You can enter some voluntary work to have more exposure to the world. Also, go for online platforms and join the communities there to meet new people.
12. Find What Are Your Values In A Friendship
Our values determine our priorities, beliefs, and attitude. Sit down and have a deep examination of what your values are in a friendship.
When friends disappoint you in any way, checking out your values should be your very next step. Mostly we make friends that have the same values as ours.
It is your core value if you prioritize studying more than hanging out each night. And your friend should know it well and expect from you accordingly.
If they do not understand it, maybe you both have conflicting values. Learning about your values can help you have second thoughts about a friendship bond.
13. Let Go If It’s Not Working
If your friend is continuously disappointing you, and it has become a pattern in your friendship, it is time to say goodbye to them.
It might be possible they already are giving you some signs of ending the friendship. When friends distance themselves from you, it is a clear declaration ending the relationship.
Don’t hold on to a bond that is affecting your mental peace. There are seven billion people out there, so why settle for one person? It may be difficult to cut every emotional tie in the initial stage, but it would be worth it.
14. Don’t Blame Yourself
At this point, chances are your mind will trick you into thinking something is wrong with you. You may blame your ability to be a “good” friend, choose the wrong people, or handle the disappointments.
But it is a crucial time for you to realize that you ARE a complete and a whole person. You are loveable.
What is wrong is just the circumstances. Or simply, this friendship was not supposed to move forward. There are plenty of fabulous people out there for you to make you feel loved and fulfilled.
Get out of the guilt trip and move on in your life.
Common Questions When Friends Disappoint You:
Why Do Friends Disappoint You?
Friends can disappoint you for the following reasons:
- They are unable to fulfill your expectations.
- They don’t know your expectations.
- Or they themselves are disappointed by you due to some reason.
Should You Let Them Go Right Away?
If your friend has betrayed you one or two times, it is completely fine. Tell them about it so they can correct their attitude.
But if they continuously put you in feelings of disappointment, you should give it a big deal of thought.
The best way is to give them two or three chances. If their actions are the same, you should leave them alone and move on with your life.
What To Say To A Friend Who Abandoned You?
If your friend has decided to give up on this relationship, try to communicate with them before cutting all the ties.
Make sure you both get a closure to avoid confusion. And in the end, have a complaint-free goodbye with them.
People cannot always act according to our thoughts. They either don’t know or don’t want to. Or else your expectations are a bit high. Either way, you need to learn not to get stuck in the constant feeling of disappointment.
The bottom line is:
When friends disappoint you, accept your feelings and take time to process them. The next step is to know your needs well and tell those to your friend. Above all, you need to set boundaries in your friendship in order to avoid disappointments in the future.