The fear of letting someone down, is overwhelming. No, I don’t think this phobia has anything to do with pleasing people. I feel pleasing is not the same as, not wanting to disappoint someone. I never go out of my way to please anyone. But if there are four words that I just can’t digest, they’re, “I’m disappointed in you”. Or it’s alternative, “You let me down”.
Now, I know, it’s not our job to make sure that someone else is satisfied with our actions. But sometimes when that “someone” happens to be a really genuine person, and has been there as a positive support and as an encouragement, it really breaks my heart to let them down. You might ask me, “In that case, why would you act in such a way that would dismay someone like that?”. Well, I’m afraid most things in life aren’t as simple. It all begins when, what that person expects me to do, contradicts my interests and who I am as person.
To draw a parallel to my predicament, take the parents out there who dream up big things for their children. And they support, encourage and provide them with everything that they need. Now, when these children grow up and deviate from the preordained path, the parents feel disappointed. A child, in such a situation, would feel torn between 1) following their dreams and feeling like they failed their parents, and 2) adhering to the already determined choices made by their parents and not being able to live true to themselves.
Most of the times, the right things and the tough things happen to be one and the same. And we all know, when it comes to choices that decide the course of our life, or the decisions that affect our fundamental values and principles, we should place ourselves above others, irrelevant of who they are, what they’ve done for us and how disappointed they would be. By choosing to do things that contradict who you are as a person purely because you don’t want to let someone else down, you are letting down the most important person in your life. Yourself.