There are certain situations in life in which we have all likely found ourselves at one point or another.
Consequently, there are a few universal emotions we have come to understand, like the sadness that comes with loss, the happiness that comes with success and, most likely, the disappointment that comes with wanting something from someone and not getting it.
When I say this, I, of course, don’t mean it in the most basic sense of wanting a material object from someone, and then being denied of it.
Rather, I am referring to the feeling of wanting either a certain kind of relationship with someone or wanting to be perceived differently and then being denied.
This can be the case when it comes to unrequited love, as well as in many other situations, like dedicating unmatched effort in an attempt to rekindle or maintain a friendship, or wanting more credit at work.
Wanting all of these things doesn’t make us entitled to them (it’s a given that both people in any sort of relationship or formal setting will have a say in determining how the dynamic therein plays out), but experiencing something like this is nonetheless disappointing, frustrating, upsetting and all of the above.
The degree of intensity with which we feel these emotions can vary, depending, of course, on the specific situation at hand. But, in all such cases, there’s a silver lining; there’s a certain attitude you can maintain that can alleviate this sort of disappointment.
Here are three things you can do when you’re not getting what you want from people:
1. Be Mature And Keep Things In Perspective
As the Rolling Stones sing, “You can’t always get what you want.” This is certainly true, but as mentioned, knowing this doesn’t necessarily make it suck any less when we want something from someone and that someone isn't giving it.
The important thing to remember is that you always have to put and keep things in perspective.
For example, if you have romantic feelings for someone, but these feelings aren’t mutual, remember it’s not an end-all indication of how attractive you are, or how appealing your personality is.
If you feel your boss isn’t acknowledging all of the hard work you’ve done, or you feel deserving of more responsibility but aren’t getting it, remember that the way in which he or she perceives you won’t necessarily correspond to your work life at future jobs, or the relationship you have with future employers.
2. Decide If You Want To Distance Yourself Or Not
When a relationship of any sort becomes unbalanced or leaves you wanting something you’re not getting, it’s probably time to reflect on whether you should remove yourself from the situation.
This could mean something dramatic, like quitting your job and trying to find one where you’ll feel more appreciated, or something less drastic, like finally giving up on Facebook-messaging that old friend from high school who, on the whole, seems uninterested in maintaining a friendship.
If you feel strung along by a romantic interest who doesn’t reciprocate the effort or feelings you’ve put forward, it’s okay to cut him or her off.
If you feel like the effort you are putting into something is going unacknowledged or is not met with equal effort, you might want to throw in the towel and distance yourself from the person or situation.
You have the right to let go when you’re being denied something and you no longer feel comfortable with a relationship that isn’t taking the form you want.
For example, if you tell someone you have feelings for him or her, and he or she doesn’t feel the same way, you’ll probably feel miserable at first. However, if the person wants to continue being friends, ask yourself if you are okay with this.
If the answer is no, that’s fine, and choosing to distance yourself might be the best course of action. On the other hand, if a friendship with this person can also bring something significant to your life, it might not be in your best interest to strike that distance.
All things considered, if you realize you are okay with a scenario taking a different shape or a person playing a different role in your life than originally desired, it might be best to let your ego take the hit and choose not to distance yourself.
In either case, the decision is yours to make; be confident in it.
3. Move On
As a general summary, if you’re not getting what you want from people, you need to move on in some way.
This can mean removing yourself from a situation or discontinuing the effort you are putting into a relationship if it’s not being met with any effort on the other end. It can also mean moving on in a different sense, like by keeping things in perspective and finding peace of mind.
If you are able to maintain a mature attitude when you want something from someone you’re not getting, you’re “moving on” from nagging and frustrating feelings.
You can also move on by moving forward and allowing a person to play a different role in your life than you originally wanted him or her to.
If you find you’re okay with this, you are “moving on” by relinquishing something in a way that doesn’t necessarily mean your feelings will change, but confirms the fact that you can be satisfied with something else.
It’s never easy to want something from someone that he or she won’t give you. It’s one of those situations in which we’ve all found ourselves, and will most likely find ourselves again.
Disappointment is inevitable in these situations, but having the right attitude can definitely alleviate it.
Just as other people will make decisions that will affect the sort of relationships they have with you, you deserve to decide how you would like to move forward, and it should be whichever way is right for you.