Moving On vs. Giving Up


Option 1:

  • Suck it up
  • Deal with it
  • Just get through it
  • Wait it out
  • Give it time

Option 2:

  • Move on
  • Put it to rest
  • Let it go
  • Give up


            Take a moment to consider the options. Which one is more appealing? Which one sounds better? Which one would you be more likely to advise to friends or family? Does one option have a better connotation than the other?           

            Part of the human experience is encountering negativity, be it in a job, a relationship, an interaction. We are given the opportunity to choose, as some eloquently label: flight or flight. Some moments are not choice, they are instinctual; but what happens when the timeline is extended, and the situation is not life or death? It is slow agony or the idea of defeat. Which is better?

            I couldn’t give a blanket answer because is varies by situation. I have given input on friends’ relationships, and in some instances I see reason to work at it and get through the hard times (fight) and in others I would say run (run far, take your things, don’t ever go back). But too often I see people whose ideology is one or the other. They will fight in every given situation, or they will flee from any hardship.

            Neither extreme is acceptable, and it often carries a large amount of judgment. Often the judgment is a projection of that person’s own unhappiness. Her own inability to leave a bad marriage or his own lack of accountability.

            Sometimes this plays out in couples with a lingering fight. One or both partners refuse to come to a compromise on an issue, or rather issues continue to be swept under the rug, but never resolved.

            There is a large distinction between moving on, and giving up, and there are times that moving on is the right answer. It is not giving up if you have given your all, and the limit we each have within us is allowed to vary. There is also a distinction between sticking it out and being stubborn. There is a case for buckling down, but after hitting your head against the wall for so long you have to know when the time is up. All things have a season after all. Not everyone has an easy time recognizing these distinctions, but finding a way to differentiate and allow for discussion of both sides is healthy and shouldn’t invoke feelings of failure or negativity. Consider what your past looks like, and whether these extremes have worked, and if they haven’t, make a commitment to work on change. 

Photo Credit: John Shedrick via Flickr 

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