Friendship: Overcoming Disappointment

Beth and Robin were inseparable friends while their children were growing up. They met when their oldest boys began preschool together. They each had three children within months of one another. Throughout their pregnancies they supported each other through many of the physical, psychological and parenting demands that they faced. Their husbands were off for the most part building their careers.

two friends having coffee together
Two women friends have coffee together

Beth and Robin carpooled for school and sports activities. Their families belonged to the same church and spent many holidays and vacations together. Essentially they co-raised their children. They felt blessed being in each others lives and united in their efforts in raising their young families.

As their children entered the high school system something began to change. Beth became increasingly interested in volunteering for the high school and one of Boston’s pediatric hospitals. Robin became more involved with developing her home-based Internet marketing business. Over time Beth and Robin grew resentful of each other for not sharing interests during this phase of their lives.

Beth wanted Robin’s support for her pursuits and vice versa. They both felt abandoned and disappointed by the other. Neither one of them could find the words to express the hurt and sense of isolation. They needed to learn how to navigate through this impasse.

Building and sustaining a healthy relationship with a friend, partner or colleague takes ongoing care and attention. Unexpected obstacles run interferences with the best of relationships. The ripple effect of a threatened relationship can wreak havoc with one’s sense of well-being as well as with other relationships.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that when you have been disappointed or hurt by someone you are close with that there is spillage with others. Beth and Robin both became more irritable with their families and experienced an increasing sense of isolation.

It is important to pay attention to the way this dynamic permeates your inner world and relationship with others. The first step toward harnessing your own reaction to being let down by someone is to observe your own inner thoughts. Watch the way your mind takes this information and interprets your experience. Listen carefully to your inner dialogue.

Beth’s wish was for Robin to join forces with her as a team doing volunteer work. Similarly, Robin hoped that Beth would help her in her effort to establish her home-based business. The disconnect between them was they wanted to continue being a team in their endeavors, but their interests drew them apart. What they began to realize was that they still loved each other. They needed to find their way through this difficult period of their relationship.

They did this by listening deeply to each other and accepting the notion that they had grown apart in their pursuits outside of the raising of their families. Beth and Robin learned to respect each other’s individuality.

Raising your level of consciousness about the struggles you face in your relationships helps to prevent or contain problems from escalating. Maintaining satisfying connections with friends and family is one of the most important keys to health, happiness and feeling fulfilled.

How have you managed difficult periods and overcome disappointment in friendships?

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