Monday, September 30, 2013

Overcoming Disappointment in Relationships

Overcoming Disappointment in Relationships

It's safe to say that our friends and families want the best for us. They want to see us happy, healthy and financially secure. As humans we rely on that support to motivate and encourage us to reach for our dreams and to bond us to our loved ones. But what happens when we have news to share, perhaps a personal milestone achieved, and that support fades or becomes inconsistent? How does that perceived lack of support affect our relationships with others and with ourselves?

We may become withdrawn and less likely to want to share our news (e.g.engagement announcement, new job, new baby, new home, etc.) because we fear feeling rejected or unimportant.

We may become less supportive, less involved and/or less interested in the activities and news of our friends and family members because we feel jealous, resentful and/or unequal.

We may start to question how our friends and family feel about us.

Ways to Cope with Disappointment

  1. Reevaluating our relationships: Sometimes our friendships are more emotionally intimate for us than they are for the other person. By looking at our relationships more closely (e.g. history, patterns, etc.) we can determine if we have realistic expectations of the people in our lives.
  2. Examining our behaviors: It's important to take inventory of the ways in which we treat our own friends and family. It's unreasonable to expect heartfelt praise, support and encouragement when we are unavailable to our loved ones during their personal milestones and times of need.
  3. Expressing our feelings: By sharing our feelings when we're hurt and disappointed in honest and nonthreatening ways, we can work toward strengthening our relationships instead of harboring feelings of resentment.
  4. Focusing on the positive: By giving our time and energy to those who are actively involved in our lives, we have less time to concern ourselves with those who are dismissive, unsupportive or emotionally unavailable.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog.  Please feel free to leave a comment or message me with any feedback.  

Best regards,
Lisa Matus, LCSW

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