When disappointed in someone. Four questions that help.

confused looking prairie dog /disappointed in someone

When we are disappointed in someone there are four questions that can help.

When I say disappointed, I mean those times when you just can’t figure out why someone behaves the way they do.

adorable prairie dog near hole on sunny day/when we are disappointed in someone.

We’ve all been there. We have been disappointed but we have also disappointed. Usually, it’s someone we care a lot about because we just don’t give that kind of attention to someone we care little for.

When we are disappointed

However, you might not be like that at all. If my husband doesn’t “get” someone’s behavior, he is able to identify it and move on. Me, not, so much.

I love researching the mind, motivation, happiness, what makes people tick, all that. It’s probably why I am taking online life-coach classes. I find people fascinating.

Plus, as a Christian, I feel if I can understand people in my life, I can pray better for them. So, I’ve come up with some observations that can lead us in the right direction when we are disappointed and confused by others.

The first question is, “What exactly am I disappointed about?”

Are you disappointed because there seem to be some contradictions? I think that’s probably the main reason we get disappointed. We think we know someone and then they do something that makes us question.

A good example of this would be someone who is extremely frugal but gets caught up in a scam and gives away money to a stranger. Another might be someone who doesn’t drink alcohol and suddenly they start drinking heavily. So it’s good to identify what you are disappointed about. In these examples, it would be a sudden change of behavior.

It’s a good idea to identify what has disappointed us. And if we can, that may be enough to move past it. Sometimes we expect too much of others at times when they aren’t able to give it. That’s what grace has done for us and what we must do for others.

The second question, does my disappointment affect our relationship?

Is the disappointment causing me to distance myself because I’m trying to figure out how I could have been so wrong? Is the confusion got me scratching my head wondering if I need to say or do something?

However, whether to address your disappointment depends on whether or not this is a continual problem or simply a person acting out of the ordinary because they are merely human. If that’s the case, obviously we overlook and forgive.

But when it’s a continual problem, then there is no choice but to address it. But because that takes two willing people, that’s not always possible. At those times, we have no choice but to move on. Jesus did.

An example of walking away.

The rich young ruler disappointed Jesus. What did Jesus do? He moved on. He saw an unwillingness. When we see an unwillingness to change, we have no choice. We forgive them and wish them well. But we choose to guard our heart, according to Proverbs 4:23. There is no scripture to support putting ourselves in harm’s way time and again.

But the third question, what if it’s you who has been the disappointment?

What if it’s you that has been the “disappointer”. Or at least someone feels you have.

If you’re interested in continuing the relationship, you apologize and don’t repeat your behavior. But some people look for disappointment and no one ever measures up. If the same person is often telling you you have disappointed them, it might be them. Some people expect way too much.

Idolizing and being idolized in relationships

That was me at one time. A number of years ago when I was reading about idols in Jeremiah 10. I realized I was making idols of some people. I had never thought of peoples being idols. before. Now when someone disappoints me, I immediately remember those verses and remind myself that God must always come first in my devotion, my time, my talents, etc. That is also how we guard our hearts.

When the Potter shaped my clay he also didn’t want me to become an idol for others. In reality, that’s out of my control. All I can do is make sure I’m not presenting an image other than that of a work in progress. I don’t want to make an idol out of anyone and I don’t want anyone to do that to me. It’s way too hard to stay on a pedestal.

Fourthly, can the relationship be repaired?

But if both of you are continually disappointing each other, the relationship isn’t working. And it’s probably due to a lack of honest communication from one or both parties. When we aren’t honest and put up a front, people can’t get to know us and we can’t get to know them.

No mutually rewarding relationship survives between strangers.

But don’t just give up on a long-term relationship (not talking marriage) without doing everything you know to do while at the same time being true to yourself.

Our Responsibility

Perhaps the most important question is, have I lived up to my responsibility? If you have, then you need to find a way to let the situation rest. Keep praying and staying open to the Holy Spirit to lead. “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:6. If things don’t change you will have to decide the future course of the relationship.

Relationships can be difficult. They fluctuate like the weather. Whether you get through the storm or not depends on both of you. But when you’ve done your part, move into the sunshine. Don’t sit under the clouds of sadness when there is nothing more you can do. There are people everywhere needing friends. You can be that friend.

Conclusion

When we find ourselves questioning a relationship or a friendship, we should always be praying about it. We are to take our disappointment to God first.

The Bible s pretty clear on how we are to treat each other. Colossians and Ephesians contain a lot of good information about relationships.

The disciples had some problems with each other, Paul had some problems with John Mark. Euodia and Syntyche didn’t get along. And don’t forget all the relationship issues in the Old Testament! It is resplendent with them. In other words, people run into rough patches all the time. People’s behavior hasn’t changed much over the centuries.

Make it your goal to try and repair relationships, always remembering though to be prepared if things don’t go as you would like. Most relationships can be repaired. Most relationships are worth saving.

God bless and have a good day.

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