Disappointing People and Disappointing People
Many many years ago (maybe about 24 years?) when I was going through some challenging times, I was chatting with someone that I really admired, and she told me, “Brenda, I disappoint people every day.”
Of course, I was kind of shocked, as I saw this person as a leader, and one of the most inspiring, kind and loving people that I had ever met (I still place them in this category) and I was so honoured to be getting to spend time with them. I was surprised to hear those words come out of her mouth.
So what? They weren’t perfect? They let people down? That was news for a perfectionist like me way back then.
I never forgot those words. Her words, still 24 years later, rattle gently around my brain. Often. “I disappoint people every day.” I never forgot those words, but I never became free from perfectionism and from wanting not to disappoint people. It’s a way to lose a big chunk of your life, I tell you. (I don’t advise living that way)
What’s the difference now? At 56 years old, I really get it. (I think) In theory.
I kind of got it before in my mind, but not at the depths of my being and not to the magnitude that I do now, especially while in the midst of changing my own life for the better. Currently I’m letting people down left right and centre it seems, disappointing people, scaring people away (apparently), leaving people behind, and more. It’s what I have to do right now … to be ME.
Sometimes when we try to change, that means that some (or a lot of) people leave, especially when you want to make a total transformation of self and of life, which is what I am attempting to courageously do. Sometimes they leave. Sometimes you leave.
Funnily, this person who said those potent words to me way back then, has actually never disappointed me personally, has always been there for me, even if we didn’t speak or write for months or for many years. Telepathically, I know that they always have my best interests at heart. Always. It’s pretty incredible actually, what a spiritual and prayer connection alone can do.
So, here I am now, me, apparently disappointing people daily, as I struggle to find a new Brenda and to create a brand new life. For you out there, I am sorry. It’s never my intent to hurt anybody. (although truthfully I am not very nice to spiders … they cannot ever be in my bedroom, ever)
So does this happen to you? Has it? How can you disappoint people? Here are some possibilities:
- people want you to be who you were and to stay there
- people want what they want from you
- people want something from you
- you are changing your life for YOU and not for them
- their wants don’t match your needs (at this time)
- you are scaring some people with your changes
- you are scaring people with your intense emotions
- maybe you aren’t as (toxically) nice as before? (this is a good thing)
- other people don’t want to change themselves yet, but as we are mirrors for each other, when they see you changing, it adds pressure
- people really don’t get you or understand you anymore; they just can’t figure you out
- people want to hang on to you like glue, they don’t want to let you go
- you are being a jerk(ess) and a not nice person (it’s a possibility; I hope not knowingly, so avoid this one, and make apologies and amends if appropriate … it’s not OK to hurt people on purpose)
- some people are control freaks and you are their target. yep. there, I said it.
What to do about it? I mean, what to do about the other people and YOU? What if you are in the midst of big life changes? What IF you arehearing from people that you are disappointing them? What if you know that you are?
- do what you need to do for YOU and keep on doing it … stay the course
- be YOU
- it’s your life, and you have only one chance to make this life a work of art; make it a Picasso or a Stravinsky
- live your life with as much kindness and compassion, love and care as you can, and that includes not just for others but also for yourself, and sometimes that means that people will be left behind
- know that some people will feel disappointed, some people will get hurt, some people will be and stay angry at you … sometimes forever … let it go … keep on moving forward … with kindness for all, whenever possible
- find a technique to help you deal with your OWN emotions so that when you do disappoint people, you don’t quit trying to make the changes you want. For me, I use 5-4-3-2-1-GO! as The 5 Second Rule is that tool for me.
So for now, I disappoint people every day. One day when I am through the muck and out the other side, maybe not so much.