How to respond when people disappoint us

It’s hard to be disappointed in people. And there’s not a riper time than the holiday season when hopes run high and expectations are unrealistic.

Christmas centerpiece

I have a really long rope, but sometimes I get to the end of it.

It hurts to realize you’ve been deceived, that you’ve got someone so wrong. But usually we’re deceived because we’ve been thinking the best of someone. I would rather be deceived because I thought good of someone than have them live up to my narrow expectations.

I would rather always err on the side of hoping for the best.

But maybe we need to find the equilibrium between thinking the best or thinking the worst and our consequent behavior.

But where is that?

I think maybe it’s by realizing:

We are all complex individuals with histories, hurts, and hopes.

We’ve all experienced life differently. What doesn’t bother the next person bothers us intensely. What bothers someone else intensely barely touches us.


just because all the above is true does not mean that we are excused from being well-mannered. That’s the least that should be expected from anyone.

So how do we stumble through the quagmire of complicated relationships and feelings?

I could quote lots of Scripture. I could give you a hip, hip, hoorah, speech. But I’m a firm believer that changes ONLY starts when we are motivated from within. And that only begins when we’re willing to look at and challenge ourselves honestly.

I think how we deal with other people needs to be as individual as we are.

The only truth I know for sure is that when we respect ourselves, when we’re kind and considerate ourselves, when God is truly in control of our lives, we will find a way to accomplish this.

For me, when I’m disappointed in someone, I acknowledge it to myself.

I pray for them. This is easier than you might think especially if you’re convinced that down deep they’re good people.

Then, if I can, I might distance myself physically a little for a while.

But mostly what I do is guard my heart.

I guard my heart by not taking on their drama. By not letting their bad manners and bad behavior take away my peace or my joy.


When we let the bad-mannered, irresponsible, and insensitive people in our life impact our lives negatively, they have won.

frowning face

Let me be clear here. I am not referring to isolated incidents. I’m referring to people whose pattern of behavior is contentious and obnoxious.

Jesus was never milk-toast. Jesus never begged or pleaded for anyone to change. He wasn’t afraid to call people out when they harmed others. He walked away and avoided people when he needed to.

And the oxymoron in all this is He died to give us the opportunity to be like him. So if this is how Jesus loved  while he was on earth, this is how we should love, with honesty, directness, sometimes avoidance, and confrontation as needed.

using words wisely

Take some time this next year to read and re-read the gospels and focus on what Jesus did, not only the words he spoke. Read his words as though you’re reading them for the first time. Pay attention to what he says and to whom. Research the circumstances in which he delivered his message.

This will take some time and some extra reading. But if you’re serious about know the real Jesus, not the one you think you knew, you will do this. Phillip Yancey’s, “The Jesus I Never Knew” is a great way to start. We are too influenced by what we’ve heard from the pulpit, what other people say, and the general overly romantic sentiment that surrounds Jesus.

Jesus can’t be “tweeted’; He’s the whole book. He’s more than a few strokes on the I- phone, I-pad, computer. 


The year is almost over. We can’t rewrite history but we can learn from it.

Learning to avoid people’s drama and yet still loving them is hard. This was one of my goal’s last year and while there were some snafu’s, for the most part I am pleased. I’m also more at peace and enjoying my life more.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.


(The post, “How to respond when people hurt us” appeared first here. Please do not use any part of this post as you’re own without acknowledging the author and the blog name.)



1 reply »

  1. You are such a gifted writer. I appreciate how you are so honest even about hurts in your Life. We can all relate but it’s good that you share how you’ve handled them. Certainly disappointments can be a learning tool that draws us closer to God. Happy new year, Kay