It can be incredibly disheartening when someone you trust and rely on lets you down, regardless of whether it’s a close friend, a beloved family member, or even a trusted colleague.
You may feel hurt, disappointed, and even angry. In such instances, it can be all too easy to react, lashing out with harsh words or hurtful actions that may only exacerbate the situation further.
Often, taking a step back and pausing to collect your thoughts before responding can make all the difference in how you handle the situation and ultimately move forward.
Doing so allows you to feel your emotions and healthily process them.
To help guide you through such a situation, I’ve compiled a list of things to say when someone lets you down.
These responses can help you express your feelings in a constructive and respectful manner, while also encouraging dialogue and understanding between both parties.
It is understandable that sometimes expressing ourselves might come out harsh.
Whether you’re looking for ways to address the issue head-on or simply seeking reassurance and support from the one who let you down, these tips are sure to come in handy.
Here are 12 things to say when someone lets you down:
1. “I’ve never been more disappointed in you!”
This is most probably the most common response people give when someone close to them lets them down. If your friend gave you their word and you were counting on them to come through for you, you are bound to be disappointed. This could be especially the case if they didn’t give you any heads up that they might not be there for you.
2. “Can you explain what happened?”
When we are upset, it is next to impossible to have compassion for the one responsible. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan no matter how hard we plan. Therefore, it would be fair to take some time to cool off and then ask what could have inconvenienced your friend so much that they wouldn’t be there for you. After all, they could be going through a difficult situation at that moment.
3. “I’m willing to forgive you, but it’s going to take some time for me to trust you again.”
This statement lets the one who let you down know that they hurt you, but you are willing to give them a second chance. Especially if their mistake had some impact on the trust you both share, you might feel that they need to prove themselves loyal before you can trust them again, which will take time.
4. “I know that mistakes happen.”
Sometimes we are let down by people who have been there for us countless times before. In such cases, we fully trust that they could never hurt us on purpose, and so we can choose to let their mistakes slide. Showing understanding will ensure that our friends are there for us in the future.
5. “I understand that you’re busy, but it’s important to follow through on your commitments.”
Some people make commitments without thinking things through. As such, their busy schedule may get in the way of fulfilling their commitments despite giving their word. If you have such a friend, this response will act as a warning for the next time they give you their word.
6. “I can’t believe you would do something like that.”
Some mistakes are more serious than others, and there are those we hold with higher regard in our lives than others. It’s hard to believe that a person you think of as ‘perfect’ would let you down. This statement lets them know that they hurt your feelings, and your perception of them is now tainted.
You may also want to check:
7. “It’s okay to admit when you can’t accomplish something.”
When some people realize that they may fail to be there for their friends despite giving their word, they tend to keep it to themselves instead of admitting to their limitations. If that happened with someone you care about, and you are aware that they had no intentions of hurting you, you can use this statement to show them that you acknowledge that we all have limitations, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
8. “I understand that you’re human, but I still need to express my feelings about what happened.”
All humans make mistakes, but this does not automatically excuse our shortcomings. Let that other person know that you might be harboring some grudge on what happened, which is weighing you down. This statement shows that you have no intentions of throwing blame at them, but you have to tell them what’s in your heart so you can move on or start afresh.
9. “I appreciate the effort you put in, even if it didn’t turn out how we wanted.”
This statement shows appreciation for the much someone did for us, even though in the end they let us down. Sometimes people make the mistake of taking on more than they can handle. With confidence, they may promise to perform five tasks on your behalf, for example, but in the end, only succeed in accomplishing four. It would be wrong to disregard the much they did for the little they failed to accomplish.
10. “Can we talk about how we can prevent something like this from happening in the future?”
This statement shows a high level of maturity on our part when someone lets us down. It is phrased in form of a question, which opens up the platform for a conversation. To be open-minded, you need to take time to cool off first and get over the frustrations of being let down.
11. “I want to find a way to move forward together, but we need to address what happened first.”
Sometimes when people let us down, we hesitate to face the situation head-on to avoid getting into a confrontation. Unfortunately, the one who let us down could mistake that for us moving on from the wrong they did. Therefore, when we are ready to talk about what went wrong, this statement will help in letting them know that they offended us and we are yet to get over it.
12. “I’m disappointed, but I can’t say I’m surprised.”
Ever had someone in your life whom you didn’t find trustworthy? Still, they may give you their word but go back on it later despite you giving them the benefit of doubt. Though you do not hope for bad things to happen, you always know there is a high chance of them letting you down.