Recently, I was having an argument with someone who I consider to be one of my best friends. It was not a serious argument, it was just a difference of opinion; or so I thought. At one point he said he was disappointed in me for the claim that I was arguing. I feel like this was a bit extreme for the circumstances, but what bothered me most is the underlying message that I got from his statement. When someone tells me that they are disappointed in me, it is perhaps one of the most powerful messages anyone could send to me. Not only does this make me feel like I somehow did them wrong, it also makes me feel like I didn’t live up to their expectations. This is somewhat troubling for me because a few weeks prior to this conversation I had confided in this friend that I had been dealing with a lot of pressure from everyone and that I felt like everyone expected me to be perfect. He made me feel better by saying that he didn’t expect me to be anything other than myself. But now I have to wonder how true that statement was. Because if he is disappointed in me, that means that he had to have had some expectations of me to begin with. I clearly did not meet these expectations or he would not be disappointed. So now I am back to feeling like everyone expects me to be something or someone that I am not.
The other thing that bothered me about him saying he was disappointed in me is that he really has no right to be. First of all, it was not as if I had done something terribly wrong, so the comment was totally unwarranted. But in addition to this, I don’t think it is right for anyone who is not my parents to tell me that they are disappointed in me. It just really bothers me. I feel like people are trying to manipulate me when they say that which drives me crazy. I just want to break away from all of the stress and pressure that I’m feeling but I have nowhere to turn. Even the people who I thought I could trust have only made me feel worse.