by Andrea M. Darcy
Always feeling let down by others? Perhaps you explain it as ‘bad luck’ or ‘being too nice’.
But if being let down is something that keeps happening in your life, then the common denominator is you.
Why You Are Always Feeling Let Down By Others
What behaviour might you unknowingly be playing out that actually creates a life where everyone lets you down? And how can you break the pattern?
1. You don’t set boundaries.
Personal boundaries are just what they sound – letting others know what is and is not acceptable for you, and what you are and are not willing to do.
If you do not set boundaries then you over give time and energy not because you want to, but because you do not know how to say no. If the other person has no problem with boundaries and doesn’t give back as much as you over gave, the end result is feeling letdown and used.
Read our articles on “How to Say No” and “How to set “Boundaries.” How different would life feel if you kept more of your time and energy for yourself?
2. You have misunderstood what giving is.
Is your idea of giving that whatever you put out, you should receive in equal measure? You’ve actually mistaken giving with a business transaction.
What if giving meant that you only give your time and energy when/if it feels good, and that you do so with absolutely no strings attached? What if you stopped giving at all until you felt that you could give from such a space?
3. You are blinded by expectations.
High expectations are one of the key killers of healthy and connected relationships. They leave us in an endless loop of feeling let down.
When we expect things of others, we fail to be open to who they really are. And in our drive to get what we want, we fail to see the things they really have to offer. It’s not that they give us nothing, it’s that we are asking them to give what they simply can’t.
Think of one person you are having difficulties with. Write a list of all the things you expect from him or her. Are these things fair? What would it feel like to just rip up that list and drop all expectations?
4. You are actually being controlling.
Sometimes the hard truth about why you feel let down is that you didn’t get to do things your way.
You simply can’t fully control other people or even life.
Take a moment to think about the person who has let you down. When is the last time you discussed his or her wants and needs in the relationship?
5. You are codependent.
On the surface, codependency looks like a person who is over giving, too nice, and always wanting to make other people and partners happy.
But beneath that is the pattern, “I help you and do everything for you and then you have to make me feel good in return’.
It’s a lot to ask of someone else, and the end result is often feeling let down.
Look at how much of your self-esteem comes from your relationships. What are three things you could start doing to feel self-esteem in a way that is instead sourced from within?
Here’s a fact about over giving, being ‘too nice’, never saying no…. then always feeling let down.
You are choosing to do all of it. Nobody is making you do so. Except, perhaps, your own feelings of guilt.
So you are not actually a victim, you are just choosing to be.
What three things would you have to give up if you decided to stop acting like a victim (other people’s sympathy and attention, always having a good story to tell, etc). And what three things might you then stand to gain?
7. You are projecting.
Being let down is often a form of psychological projection, where we take a trait that is within us and attribute it to another.
Is it possible that in your over giving, you sometimes over extend and let others down? Cancel at the last minute? Forget to call? Do a half-hearted job of things?
And often we are constantly letting ourselves down, by refusing to listen to our real desires or take time to ourselves.
Think carefully over the last month. Can you find three ways, no matter how small, you could be perceived as letting people down? And can you find three moments you let yourself down by saying yes when you meant no, by not practicing self-care, or by not standing up for yourself?
If you constantly align yourself with toxic friends and partners who are evidently selfish or emotionally unavailable, then you will always feel let down.
A pattern of choosing this sort of relationship will come from childhood programming. It might be that you are ‘dating a parent’, or that childhood trauma left you with certain core beliefs that are controlling your choices.
Look back at your last few relationships or friendships. Did they begin the same way? Have the same dramas? The same power dynamics? Do either relate to a pattern you might have had with a parent growing up?
9. You need proper, healthy support.
Sometimes we always feel let down as we don’t have support and are seeking it from people who can’t give it. Or we have no idea how to even accept support.
Do you actually know how to accept the help and assistance of others? Or do you often push away opportunities and offers?
Is it time to seek real support to break your pattern of feeling let down?
If you find that your endless sense of feeling let down is making your life difficult, or you suspect it comes from a childhood experience, then it might be time to seek proper support.
A counsellor or therapist creates a safe, unbiased, and nonjudgmental environment for you to understand your feeling of always being let down by others.
Would you like to try a session with a therapist and work on your tendency to always feel let down by others? Harley Therapy connects you to London-based therapists as well as online therapists working right across the UK.
Have a question still about why you are always feeling let down by others? Post in our public comment box below.
Andrea M. Darcy is the commissioning editor and lead writer of this site. She left a career in film to chase her dream of working in personal development and never looked back. Find her @am_darcy.