People let you down

It saddens me to say, but people let you down. They disappoint and so seldom do they actually surprise.

In my life, for example, I’m particularly feeling saddened this week because people have once again shown me this is most certainly true.

That’s not to say I’m without blame myself, I’m equally guilty of letting people down. You just have to ask my family or friends at any birthdays! Yet in a way I hope there’s some difference there. I have no deliberate intent to do harm, hurt or offend. As an aside I’m not going to revisit my youth in this discussion!


What I’ve been experiencing these last few weeks have been deliberate and very pointed actions against me. Yet not personally as an individual, most of this is because they aren’t viewing me as a person but as something that’s simply in their way, clashing with their ego or seemingly threatening them in some manner.

Most obviously this has been seen in my commuting to and from work. People in their car aren’t viewing you as a person with feelings, they just see you as something that’s in the way of their arrival at work or their Chinese carry out for tea. It’s good to know that’s what my life is worth to them.

I found great solace in the fact that despite the very physical attack I was subject to that morning, I managed to rise above the anger and pettiness. When a car pulled out in front of me and stopped in the queue with the door slightly ajar, I didn’t get upset. Instead I tapped on the passengers window and let him know his door was open.

A nice thing to do, but what got me was that he was genuinely surprised and his expression turned from a mixture of panic and the readiness to argue, to surprise and happiness. So you could look on the positive side and that was a nice thing to do and that I got a positive response, but how sad that his first reaction was quite judgemental and aggressive. He had assumed that I was going to start an argument, shout at him, or god knows what else.

So this week I’m feeling that people aren’t showing others enough respect and they aren’t looking at the other person as an actual person, trying to understand how they feel, putting themselves in their shoes rather than leaping into a situation. It’s also something you see everyday in work situations.

In most corporate environments people think about themselves, and their position within their team. Some, you might be lucky to find, think about their team within their Business area, but seldom do they think of the entire corporation and what is good for the organisation as a whole. People protect themselves and their immediate surroundings, anything outside that is decoration, noise, or merely in the way to achieve their goal.

Actually, that sounds quite relevant for all the situations I’ve been encountering. That goal being getting to their destination, succeeding in their job, or just getting what they want.

People are selfish, arrogant, self centered and think only of themselves and their goal. Perhaps the immediates around them may aid them achieve that so they observe them more carefully, however everything else is a distraction.

I think that’s perhaps why I find it so hard in a corporate environment. However, the silver lining is that when you do have friends, I mean real friends be they your partner, related or otherwise, they make up for all this negative behaviour and when you really need it, they come through for you and amaze you.

Here’s to my friends, you all know who you are.

4 comments on “People let you down”

  1. Patrick Hadfield Reply

    Richard,

    Part of this is down to evolution: we evolved in a dog-eat-dog world, and this hasn’t prepared us for living in more social situations.

    This is no excuse, of course: we aren’t controlled by our genes, though they may determine our more immediate behaviours.

    Other than act as role models for what we believe should be appropriate behaviour (and there might be six billion interpretations of what that might be!), I think people are trapped.

    I am not sure that western governments are helping moderate our behaviours, though: the US is stomping around the world, violating people’s freedoms and right; the British government is curtailing personal freedoms; is it surprising that the man in the street – or our colleagues behind their desks – feel it ok to behave in a similar fashion?

  2. Simone Reply

    I do share your sentiments Rich although unlike your experiences, I have never been subject to bodily harm, well, at least not that I am aware of!

    I very rarely let people down, what I dont understand is that on the few occassions that I have been guilty of it, they made sure I didnt forget.

    This line is so true of the society that we live in, “people are selfish, arrogant, self centered and think only of themselves and their goal.” They wouldnt care who they will hurt in the process in order to achieve their goals, and its refreshing that not everybody is like that, and hats off to them too.

  3. Louise Russell Reply

    I’m constantly amazed at how selfish people are, and how people let you down, time and time again. People walk all over those who are prepared to share knowledge and spirituality. At the end of the day it all comes down to money. I slave away to bring knowledge and spiritual understanding through the medium of music and performance, and I work on the side to subsidize this activity, but repeatedly one comes up against people with giant size egos, who upon being awakened to possibilities, try and knock the giver or sharer off their perch so that they can take the lot. It’s a constant battle ground – and in the end is totally destructive. In creating a community organization, I’m often having to do all the tasks myself and subsidize in order to prevent others from taking over and destroying the whole essence and purpose of the organization, which is to share knowledge and understanding of who we are and how we all share the same common universal spirit and how talent can be nurtured and how we can achieve anything we like if we think positively. But it’s all destroyed by individual egos who fail to recognize the truth. I’m still surviving – and making progress, but it’s an upward struggle, and each day I wake up and have to prepare for the day, taking each moment, minute, hour of the day as it comes, as God, with his light, shows me the way through. It works every time – but if we fail to focus for one moment, and let other people and their attitudes, get to us, it’s like stepping outside and being subjected to the elements without a coat of protection.

    The answer is always to recognize the light within – and to never let it go. We are safe if we acknowledge and recognize it.

    Cheers for now.

    Louise Russell

  4. Martha Yandell Reply

    We do live in a dog eat dog world. I don’t understand why people are bit more considerate of others feeling. My daughter had minor surgery Friday; the ones that I had been so good to didn’t call to check on her. I am amazed.

    Anyone ever had this happen.

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