Dealing With People Who Let Me Down

Today, I wish I had more middle fingers.

And a cake made of Xanax and optimism.

Because lately I seem to be managing one crisis after another. And also being let down by people that I really thought I could depend on.

And people do let us down, don’t they? They change the rules, change their minds, or change the nature of relationships with zero regard for anyone else’s wellbeing.

They break promises, and deals, and sometimes expect us to just be okay with it.


It’s a fifty gallon bucket full of suck, shock, and heartache.

And I think it feels worse when the person who lets me down is a friend and a business partner. Because not only do their actions and decisions impact me emotionally, but financially as well.

And that’s the tricky part. Am I not supposed to go into business with friends? Am I not supposed to become friends with someone I’m working with? Is that the thing?

I don’t know.

Sometimes I find it helpful to think an offending person acted out of ignorance rather than malice.

Then at least I don’t hate them.

Because let’s face it, there’s plenty of sleepwalking, selfish, maladjusted people in this world. There’s plenty of people living a life of suffering, making decisions and interacting from a place of extreme pain. And to think of them as walking around in the trance of their own importance helps me keep my own behavior in check and not make matters worse.

Because it’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to fantasize about them being kidnapped by a dragon and flown off to a far away land so I don’t have to deal with them.

That’s fine. It’s just not okay to pay the dragon to kidnap them.

It’s okay to want to grab them and shake them and say, “What the hell is the matter with you?!?! When did you become such a villain!?!?

It’s just not okay to do it.

Because I can’t control what happens to me, not really. I can’t control how people treat me. And some people will treat me just plain awful.

The one place where I have some control is in how I respond to them.

Maybe I wait 24 hours before answering an email, just to give things some space. Maybe I don’t pick the phone until I’m good and ready and feeling centered. Maybe I practice kindness toward them, as I would a sick dog that bites me out of fear.

Maybe I have to just suffer through our last necessary or contractually obligated interactions with grace, knowing that at least I’ll get to move on soon. And then this person will no longer have such an impact on my life.

Sometimes, that’s all I get.