What does being let down really mean? It has many connotations, but the dictionary defines it as:
1. To make someone disappointed by not doing something that they are
expecting you to do
2. To work less hard or make more mistakes than the people who you are
This month I want to look at some of the reasons we might feel as though we have been ‘let down’ and what we can do with these feelings.
Synonyms of let down are: abandon, depress, disillusion, fall short, leave in lurch, leave stranded, fail, dissatisfy.
Ask yourself if people are letting you down? Think about it for a minute. Are they actually letting you down, or are your expectations just too high? Are you effectively communicating with your colleagues or loved ones, telling them when and how they’ve let you down, or are you keeping these feelings to yourself?
Ask yourself if you letting others down? Think about, talk about it, and ask yourself this question. How do you know if you are or aren’t letting anyone down? You probably are, and, deep down, you know it, but you might be ignoring it.
I think that life and time shows you that you have to have reasonable expectations with people, and as the eighteenth-century poet Alexander Pope said, ”Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”
Helping a friend or a person through a difficult time in their life is one of those times when you should be extra aware of not letting them down. If, for instance, you have a friend or family member with depression, be the one they can count on for love and support. This month, In light of the suicide of actor and noted depressive Robin Williams, Chief Executive of Mind Paul Farmer answers some questions you may have about dealing with depression.
But it’s not just people who can let you down. Sometimes you can feel let down by nature or even by your body—such is often the case when we are diagnosed with a serious illness. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we have teamed up with the folks at Breakthrough Breast Cancer for a Q&A that revolves all around breast cancer prevention and early detection. With the right tools and information, you can do whatever is in your power to avoid being let down by your body.
Many times, when people are let down, it is for quite small and relatively insignificant things. Perhaps you have to cancel dinner plans or something happened to make you late for a show. We need to learn to recognize to not sweat the small stuff.
What matters is supporting people through the hardships of life, like depression or cancer; this is when it’s most important to not let others down. Being let down is never a positive experience, no matter what form it comes in, so make it your duty to allow it to happen as little as possible—this means not letting others down, but it also means feeling let down less yourself. By doing so, you’ll start being a better and stronger person today.