Sure, you don’t mean to. Everyone begins any discussion with the best intentions. I know I will not intentionally hurt or disappoint anyone. But it will happen. You will be disappointed.
It will happen to my colleagues, coworkers and clients. More importantly, it will happen to my family. My spouse. My children. My parents. My brothers. On and On.
Funny part, is many of those mentioned all blur together. I have friends I consider clients. Family I call coworkers my children in this thing called running a chore filled home.
You get it. And all of them will disappoint me, if they haven’t already. How you value the relationship and feel about their character identifies how you decide to handle it.
Rather than hash out specific examples, here’s a list of things I know I do that would or does disappoint people that I do value.
- I said something you don’t agree with. I want to clear the path of fluff and pursue honest, transparent relationships regardless of what the relationship is. I don’t have a poker face and I do have thoughts, ideas and opinions. I would like to believe most of them are positive and accepted but not everyone sees the rainbows I see. not everyone wants to be honest and find the best partnership possible. Alot of people want to win. I get excited when I can crack the code and make a win-win-win. If you don’t agree, let’s talk about it. If you don’t understand my thoughts, let me explain. But I will not pretend to like things people say if I feel like are being said for selfish reasons, status or are polished turds because you assume the person is beneath you to understand. I don’t have time for that. I can accept other opinions, ideas and theories if I believe you are presenting them from a good place in your soul. Even if I don’t agree.
- I didn’t respond to your email. I am sorry I don’t respond to your emails consistently, orderly or timely. It’s not you – it’s me. Here’s why: Email gives me anxiety. I believe it’s impolite to check it while you’re in face to face conversations, events, the couch while watching Netflix with the fam or basically anywhere you should be focusing on the people with you. But I know. I know. My inbox doesn’t care. It’s going ding ding ding ding no matter what. It’s not bad, it’s just a fact. I bet the 250+ emails that I get any given day have about 75% that are “deletable” but still. They add up and need sorted and looked through. Sometimes, when you know that’s happening while you are trying to focus elsewhere – whether you want to be there or not – it can cause anxiety of what’s to come. I have slowly but surely tapered off to check it a couple times a day. Sometimes once a day. Sometimes it takes me a week to get through all of them because of the adding up. And believe it or not, ALOT of emails go to those boxes called “junk” and “clutter”. I can’t keep up with what does hit my inbox let alone search for missed emails that I should’ve known to look for.
- I didn’t “read” your message through social media platforms. There are TOO many ways to virtually connect in a spam filled world. I have deleted Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn messaging, Twitter notifications and still try to check SnapChat here and there for my kids and coworkers. I just can’t balance all of these anymore. I apologize if you have felt ignored. I did not ignore you. I ignored the media in which you chose to reach out. If no response from me happened for whatever event, share-gram or one on one message was sent – it’s because I didn’t seek it out. It’s not you, it’s me.
- If I have told you I would do something, and a deadline was set, I will do it. Whether it takes overextending myself or not, I will keep my word. If unforeseen things happen (and they might) that prevents the deadline from being met, I will tell you in advance and reset the deadline. I will own it, no excuses.
- I don’t check back in with you when the ball is in your court. If you ask me for help, advice, thoughts, ideas – whatever it may be – and I agree I could be of some assistance to the issue you need me for, I will agree. I always agree to things I see value in doing. If we don’t exchange more details such as deadlines, meeting dates, etc – I will not be the one to follow up and do it. I have given you my word that I will help and will wait for you to respond and I will keep moving. So if I sent you a proposal of services, a text of “sure, I’m in” or whatever it is, I meant it. Otherwise, I would be genuine in telling you either I cannot or will have to do at a later time in my life but if needed right away I will offer ideas to allow you to keep moving without me, even if it means referring you to another person who is better at it and has the time. I do like to network others. But if I take the time to figure out when, where and how I can help you and you do not follow up again, I won’t either.
- I screw up work and life balance all the time. I keep in my head after hours that could work to do extra things to help people. I love to help people. Ideas, painting, decorating, advising, consulting, attending their events – I love it. However I do know that if I am away from home more than two nights in a row, everything gets more stressful. Resentful. I am quite possibly a workaholic but I enjoy the work I do. Sure, I may struggle with people I encounter, but overall what I do is great work. But I have to be with my family and do projects here. I refuse to have my children, husband and surrounding family standing around at my funeral listening to strangers they never knew talk about what I did for them if they are resentful because I didn’t do that for my own family first. I want to change the world, every day all day but I also want my kids to know they mean more to me than anything.
- I will stop initiating contact. If you tell me for months, years or decades that you “wish” this or that would happen and you’d love it if I could help and yet you do nothing but keep repeating excuses and it feels like you are expecting me to do something fully for you when you won’t initiate it yourself to begin, I’ll back off and leave it to you to decide. I got other stuff to do. I’m not angry. I’m not disliking you. I’m just not going to stand in the constant fire of disappointment.
- I check out. If I know I can take time to relax my mind and be “normal”, I’ll take it and run. I will review my deadlines, promises, calendar, needs, projects and if I can check out and go off the grid for whatever – hours, days etc – I will. It rewards everyone and is a win-win-win. The more I chill and do other things that I value to do with my time, I end up being refreshed, happier and even more creative. My best ideas happen when they weren’t supposed to. So let me check out. I totally, totally hope you find times to check out too. Sidebar – I also check out if I feel someone isn’t playing nice, has shown true character flawed colors or is appearing to have a skewed list of priorities that don’t help the greater good. I check out.
- I don’t like the word “Busy”. If I got paid $100 every time someone said “I know you’re busy but….” I wouldn’t ever seem busy cause I would collect it and run. I am used to juggling. I think the game Simon is my usual mantra. And no matter how many priorities I am currently balancing, I am not busy. I am merely full of several projects that dominate my time and it is possible I could have a breakdown, but I don’t. And if someone needs me, I’ll make it work. And if the request is a good one, a challenging one, a special one, an attempt at making yourself a better version of who you could be – then I’ll figure it out and help you. I like that. But I don’t like that “Busy” BS entrance of a conversation.
- I do get overbooked. I keep my personal and working calendars synced and allow others to add things to it if I need to be somewhere. Sometimes I drive between 3-4 cities to make meetings. That I keep my email shut off for.
- You may hear from someone else other than me to follow up with you. I have amazing coworkers who check things and follow up so no one gets disappointed – especially when they know I won’t see my phone for hours. I have a great husband who jumps in and works out details of visits, trips and appointments so I don’t have to.
- I will be late. I know it’s crazy, but I let people finish what they have to say. I feel so bad when I have to stop someone and say, I have to go. But many times, I have to go. And then I am late. And then I feel bad so I give them more time that I had planned to make up for being late. Then I am late again to the next thing because I stayed late. Then before you know it my family is texting me because I am not home yet. And then the next day is the same. I despise it and have tried and tried to stop this and still fail more than I succeed. I have even sacrificed my dream of great hygiene more often than not. I don’t do massages, manicures, meditation, workout classes, and many more. I do get my hair colored (every 8-10 weeks) and an occasional girl party pedicure twice a year. And I really love to exercise so I promised I will start again. And blogging. I must write for me. It helps with relaxing. And I am not complaining. How cool is it that so many people look to me for help? That’s awesome. Someday, I really could change the world somehow that allows my legacy to be remembered well past my grandchildren’s memories.
- I will be as kind and empathetic as I can when I experience all of these and then some. Again – I have every intention of being a good person who can be trusted, relied upon and dedicated to supporting everyone. But I know alot of people who don’t and won’t even if they expect me to.
- I am working every day in the present to please everyone and exceed expectations. I know I can make or break so many things and try very hard to please everyone but there is no way I can and that’s actually a wonderful thing.
No one is perfect. I will not try to be. I will go crazy. You will go crazy. Relax. Watch a movie. “I Feel Pretty” was a great one. Stop and look at the sun and sky every now and then. Read. Pray. Ask about your purpose and look for ways to fulfill it.
And don’t allow disappointment to build and evolve like Pokemon into anger, resentment or revenge. Instead, learn how to evaluate when the person who disappointed you needs encouragement and learning moments versus the people who are intentionally letting you down because they are selfish and hurtful. There is a difference.