If you encounter these 7 situations in life, the best thing you can do is walk away

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

People say that giving up is a sign of weakness. When you give up, you’re telling the world you’re not brave or strong enough to keep going.

But the truth is that sometimes, giving up and letting go is the bravest thing you could ever do.

It’s not easy to walk away from attachments, relationships, and situations that are familiar and comfortable – even though you rationally know it’s what’s best for you.

If you encounter these 7 situations in life, the best thing you can do is walk away.

1) Your friendship dynamic is one-sided

Just a year ago, I spent most of my days hanging out with my friend (let’s call her Mary). We planned trips together, visited new places to eat, went to the cinema, organized sleepovers, and had an amazing time.

I truly believed our friendship would last for years if not decades.

But then Mary got a boyfriend. And over time, our friendship deteriorated to the point where all my effort went unreciprocated, seventy percent of our hangouts ended up being canceled, and Mary mostly spent time with me because she felt guilty, not because she wanted to.

It hurt a lot to let this friendship go – I assign my close friendships a lot of value, and in many ways, breaking up with a friend is just as painful as breaking up with a romantic partner – but I knew that I had to invest that energy into other friends who cherished our time together.

Mary messages me once in a few months, and our short conversations usually end with her leaving me on “read”.

Emotionally, I walked away from this friendship a long time ago. Now it’s just… fizzling out.

If your friendship is one-sided, too, it’s time to take a step back and think over what you truly need in a friend and whether this relationship drains your energy rather than fulfills you.

2) Your romantic relationship simply doesn’t work

Coincidentally, letting go of Mary happened around the same time when I went through a huge breakup.

Yeah, it’s been a tough year.

After years of trying and failing to make it work, my ex and I finally recognized that we simply weren’t a match at this point in our lives and decided to go our separate ways.

And it was one of the hardest decisions I’d ever had to make. But I knew it was the right one. I knew I had to walk away.

Romantic relationships are always hard. You will always have to work together in order to overcome challenges together, learn how to navigate each other’s personalities, and accept one another’s imperfections.

But the way I see it, there are two stages of feeling certain about your partner.

First, there is the certainty that comes with compatibility. This usually happens in the first half a year or so. Wow, you two match so well! Who would have thought you’d finally find your person? This is great!

But then comes an issue. And then another. Slowly, all your suppressed traumas, insecurities, and flaws bubble to the surface, and there you are, trying to deal with all the mess.

And that’s when you truly know whether your relationship is worth it.

That’s when the second, and more important, certainty clicks into place – the certainty that you two can support each other through the roughest of times. That you will choose each other over and over again.

And if you don’t feel that way even after years of trying… the best thing to do may be to walk away just like I did.

3) Your workplace environment is very toxic

From experience, I know that the people you work with can make or break the deal.

Even the most boring of jobs can be quite fun and relaxing if you’re surrounded by optimistic people, and similarly, an amazing job poisoned by gossip, bitterness, and competitiveness can send your heart racing from anxiety every Sunday evening.

My solution to toxic workplace environments was simple – I decided to work from home.

However, not everyone’s situation allows for that kind of decision. You may have to transfer to a different department or change jobs entirely.

But remember that your co-workers make up an insanely large proportion of the people you spend your life with. On average, you probably see Susan from sales more often than you do your own spouse.

Therefore, your workplace environment is of the utmost importance. If it’s toxic, sending your nervous system into overdrive and making you nervous just thinking about it… walk away.

You will find a better workplace soon enough.

4) Your job sucks the life out of you

On a similar note, even the most wonderful of co-workers can sometimes fail to make up for the lack of passion deep within you.

One of my friends works a pretty easy 9-5, and although her co-workers are absolutely lovely, she has learned everything she could in just a few months. There is nowhere for her to progress now. She’s reached the peak of her skillset at this job.

It’s incredibly draining if your job doesn’t fill your soul with fire. Your days start to blend into one long continuum, your energy levels drop, and slowly but surely, you start to lose motivation.

This is why it’s crucial that you check in with yourself on a regular basis. Does your job fulfill you? Is it what you want at this point in your life? Or should you start sending out CVs again, knowing that a new path may spark that fire you miss so dearly?

The choice is yours.

5) Your goal is no longer what you want deep down

This one’s very hard.

Ever since we are small, we imagine great things for ourselves. One day, you’ll be a teacher. An actress. A writer. A policeman.

And the older we get, the more we cling to those identities, trying to make sense of who we are through our goals and dreams.

But what do you do when your goal no longer fulfills you? When it’s not in line with the new direction in which you’re evolving?

For the longest time, I wanted to be an actress. And once I finally recognized that acting wasn’t for me, it was incredibly difficult to let that dream go because it had become such an integral part of me that I didn’t know who I was without it.

But let go I did, and the space I opened up within myself soon filled with aspirations that were truly meant for me.

Goals are not set in stone. They change over time. If you no longer want what you desired with all your being a few years ago, you’re not letting your younger self down – you’re simply showing yourself that you contain multitudes.

6) You’re fuelled by bitterness, grudge, or spite

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that spite is inherently bad.

In fact, spite can do incredible things – it can force you to push yourself outside your comfort zone, cross your limits, and show the world that you can make your wildest dreams a reality.

But at a certain point, spite loses its magic. The same goes for grudge and bitterness. Those feelings can serve as amazing motivation, but they don’t last forever.

And what’s more, they fill you with anger and negativity rather than optimism and light.

Around three years ago, I realized that all the anger and pain I was holding onto wasn’t actually helping me anymore. It was weighing me down. Poisoning my days with rage.

Finding forgiveness within myself was the best thing I ever did. If you struggle to reach forgiveness yourself, remember that forgiving people who hurt you heals you more than it heals them.

Forgiveness is, first and foremost, about you.

7) You’ve given it your all and you just can’t give any more

If there’s one thing I want you to remember after having read this article, it’s that giving it your all is enough – even if it doesn’t seem like it.

You might pour tons of love into your romantic relationship, only for your partner to reject you – but that doesn’t mean your all can’t be enough for somebody else. It just means it’s misplaced.

You might invest all the time and energy you have into a certain goal and still fall short of reaching it. But all that means is that you still have a lot to learn and that you could perhaps consider tweaking things a little bit and trying a different approach.

If you pour everything you have into something and don’t reach the results you wanted, don’t stubbornly repeat the same process over and over again.

If you simply can’t give any more, walk away. Change direction. Forge a new path. Your all will thrive elsewhere. 

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

If you recognize these 12 signs, your relationship is stronger than you think

8 signs you’re a mentally strong person (even if you don’t think so)