Ever want to hit the quit button? Or wish you had the quit button you could hit when you get fed up with things–people, job, relationships? Do you tell yourself-“what’s the use” or “it doesn’t matter” or “I’m done” impulsively or often, without giving yourself or others the chance to sort things out?
You certainly are not alone. It is pretty normal to get frustrated by other people or situations in our lives. Work can be demanding, or you have too much or too little work, your boss is a nightmare, or its not the kind of work you would like to do. Similarly, relationships can be difficult, hard to handle or maintain. People are confusing, may or may not have good intentions towards you, can be difficult to work with. So yes, life can get pretty sucky every now and then. And so the desire to kick everything out to the wayside can seem pretty tempting.
And for some of us this can become a pattern– wherein we tend to give up on things rather easily and find it hard to have staying power. Where we may often initiate a break up in relationships, or at least threaten to break up often. We may leave jobs sooner than we need to or without working through difficulties and problems we may be having.
Some of this may come from distress or anxiety and the desire to avoid things that cause anxiety or other negative feelings like fear, guilt or shame. After a fight or an argument with a colleague at work, you choose to work from home or quit altogether, in order to avoid any further conflict or interaction. Or stop staying in touch with friends (whom you haven’t heard from in a while), assuming they are upset with you or no longer like you. These behaviors may stem from a fear of conflict, or a fear of not being able to successfully resolve a conflict.
For other, perfectionism or the need to do one’s best work may get in the way of hanging in there when the going gets rough. Dropping a gym membership due to not being able to make it as often as you wanted to, or dropping a course from school because you were not pleased with the B grade you received on the first exam. Holding ourselves to high standards can frequently get in the way of the pursuit of our goals.
Impatience or distress tolerance is an important variable here. The ability to tolerate suffering or hardship is a lot more work work and some of us think we don’t need to, or have to tolerate distress, or want to tolerate distress. We would much rather see immediate results. But the irony of life is that wehave to experience distress and trying hard to avoid distress in the short term can lead to more stress in the long run. Dropping a class because you don’t like the teacher may mean you have to sign up for the class next semester or even next year. Are you willing to wait to graduate?
So ask yourself:
- Is quitting, stopping, ending __________ a wise thing to do? (Not good/bad, right/wrong).
- Will this be the wise thing to do both for today and for tomorrow or the future.
- Have I planned out my next steps?
If after asking yourself, you know this is not the best decision for you at the time, hold off for now. Don’t make a call just yet. Talk to someone you trust, who may offer you more objective advice. At the very least, don’t look to convince yourself or find reasons to act on your emotions.