How to deal with being Disappointed by the actions of a loved one

How do I say this without sounding like I'm insensitive? How do you express to someone that you see so much potential in them and can't understand why they don't see it in themselves?

The bottom line can't.  

One of my Besties favorite thing to say is "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink." It cracks me up every time because we're from Brooklyn we are nowhere near a horse, yet she loves to say this. It's just funny to me but I get the idea behind it.  

It's a sad dilemma to find yourself caring for someone you see stuck in a cycle of despair, repeating the same patterns over and over again and wondering why they can't break away from poor habits. 

You can try a variety of segues into the conversation of change but is there anything else that can be done if they just don't see it? And are you willing to accept their reality without it having any affect on you?  

Speaking from personal experience I deal with these thoughts often when it comes to my family and I struggle with myself on how much effort to make on these conversations. I run lengthy dialogues on what to say, did I say that before, should I try this or that and the end result is the same...certain things you just have to leave alone. 

And who's to say that your choices haven't or aren't disappointing others? Who's to say that you aren't the one who isn't living to their fullest potential?  

Disappointment is a guaranteed part of life. No one is immune to not living up to someone's expectations. We deal with some level of disappointment often. It's how we deal with it that matters more than who is doing it.   

-kids disappoint their parents

-partners disappoint one another

-friends disappoint friends

 -jobs disappoint us

-time frames in Life disappoint us

So how do we deal with being disappointed by the actions of a loved one in a constructive way? How do we navigate these emotions in a constructive manner? 

  • acceptance, realize we all must find our way on our own
  • compromise, pick your battles wisely everything doesn't have to be a deal breaker
  • perspective, change it often put yourself in your loved one's place and try to see where they are coming from
  • respect, this is the key to continued conversations and the possibility of change
  • kindness, we all deserve it so give it freely and often
  • love, if you love someone you are gentle in your approach but you also must know when it is time to walk away.

These are things I try often to practice and use when feelings of disappointment arise in my loved ones. All these things combined keep the connections themselves healthy no matter what the outcome and that is also important. In the end, we want to create our best lives and be our best selves. Communication is always the key to growth.

Right now, as a matter of fact, I am working on how to best approach the next phase in communicating with my family after my grandmother's transition. I will be pulling strength from as many places as I can so kindness and respect will come in very handy. How about you, have you been disappointed by the actions of a loved one and how did you handle it? Share your tips would love to hear from you.

Always stress free xo,


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