Whether it's getting screwed over by a guy or finding out a friend talked sh*t about you, that heart-sinking feeling of disappointment is pretty much the worst.
However, although there are some downright terrible people out there, it's also important to effectively demonstrate to others what kind of behavior is and isn't acceptable to you.
"Treat others the way you would like to be treated" has been ingrained in our minds since kindergarten, but as we get older, this concept evolves into something more.
It becomes a matter of taking a stand when we want things to change.
Learning when to speak up is a trial-and-error process, but eventually gaining a better hold on this will improve our relationships with others and increase our overall satisfaction with ourselves.
Here are three ways to communicate what you want:
1. Determine what you would like to change, and identify what's setting you back.
Say you're talking to this new guy.
He's attractive, funny and you always have a good time together. But, he's never actually taken you on a real date.
At first, this didn't bother you much. However, as time went on, you realized that pre-gaming together was way more fun in college, and this behavior isn't exactly swoon-worthy.
However, if you catch yourself agreeing to "Netflix and chill" more and more often, there's a good chance he isn't going to jump up from the couch and say, "Hey! I want to take you to a fancy restaurant tonight!"
The truth is, if you want more from somebody, you can't just assume the person will read your mind and know to take things to the next step.
In addition, it doesn't make sense to complain to your friends, "This guy is so immature," or "Ugh, he definitely only wants to hook up."
It's time to slap you with some brutal honesty: You're calling him an ass, but you're giving him ass.
In other words, you're letting this behavior go on.
As a result, you really have nobody else to blame but yourself.
If you want something, say something.
Sure, no one wants to risk the chance of being perceived as crazy or needy, and no matter how casually you bring it up, he may run for the hills anyway.
But, he might date you.
Regardless of the outcome, the lack of communication in relationships today is often the biggest problem.
You think things are going smoothly because nobody is arguing, but that's because neither of you have slightest clue of what the other is thinking.
In other words, amidst the subtweeting, eye-rolling and passive-aggressive "read" receipts, it might be time to kick it old school and just use your words.
2. Reinforce positive behavior.
Your messy roommate may be driving you crazy, but bitching about to others isn't going to magically turn her into Monica Geller.
Instead, enforce positive changes by pointing out things she's done right.
On the off chance she does pick up after herself, show her your gratitude.
Say something like, "Thanks so much for cleaning up after you made dinner last night. I know washing dishes is a pain in the ass, but I love how much cleaner the kitchen looks right now."
It's a sneaky way to get your point across without directly stating what's wrong with the behavior, and it makes the other person clearly aware of what behavior is okay with you.
3. Surround yourself with people who have similar values and outlooks on life you admire.
Spend time with people who are not only goal-oriented, but who are also okay with removing things from their lives that could be holding them back.
Eventually, there's a good chance you will learn to emulate their behavior.
You know that coworker who has no problem going after what he or she wants?
It's inspiring to watch him or her take charge and speak against a company tradition in a board meeting, but you shouldn't only stare at him or her googly-eyed.
Take things a step further by noting his or her specific behaviors and how you can work them into your own life.
There's also no harm in asking him or her for advice.
"Accidentally" run into this person in the kitchen, and say something like, "That was great how you spoke up during that conference call about the client treating you unfairly. How did you get the confidence to speak up?"
Chances are, the person will be glad to share his or her insight, and you just may have an unexpected new mentor.