Disappointing Decisions

What do you do when you know a decision will disappoint someone?

My friend, Joe, went to the same barber for 15 plus years. He and the barber became buddies and would meet with a group of guys for coffee every week. 

On one occasion the barber and his neighbor, who happened to be Joe’s friend, got into a rather heated dispute about the location of a shed and joint property lines. Joe and his friend really thought the barber conducted himself poorly in the dispute. 

The next week at coffee, the barber mentioned the shed incident, and Joe told the barber he was very disappointed in how the barber handled the situation. Joe’s friend later said “Joe, I hope this means you will not go to that barber again.” 

Yet, Joe continued to go to the barber. While Joe felt disappointment in the barber’s behavior in that one incident, he also still really liked his barber. Joe would have been more disappointed to stop going to that barber. 

Joe understood his friend’s right to be disappointed in his choice to continue going to the same barber. Yet, Joe recognized that both people were much more than the shed incident. He saw beyond the disappointing behavior in that incident. Plus, he was fully aware that he too had let down people in his life.

Each day people make decisions that may or may not impact other people. People get to not like those decisions. Knowing someone might be disappointed in a decision does not necessarily require changing the decision.

What do you do when you think someone will be disappointed with whatever decision you make? Will you sacrifice your own needs not to disappoint someone else? Or will you act in ways to not disappoint yourself?

A civil and family mediator, peace builder, and educator, Sherry Ann Bruckner lives in Alexandria, Minnesota. Visit brucknermediation.com/services to learn more or call Sherry at (320) 808-3212 for help to transform conflict and create peace.

As always, be gentle with you. Be gentle with all. Be the peace.