You’re Allowed To Leave

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Avatar for thehappinessequation
2 years ago
If only leaving an uncomfortable situation or relationship is as easy as a happy goodbye wave lol.

I've been thinking a lot about social situations; about being with friends, being with strangers, just being out with people, and I've come to realise that there are times I genuinely feel uncomfortable or out of place and I want to leave. It's got little to do with the people I'm with, it's more to do with me not feeling like a fit in with people in that setting or moment, and I know that I want to leave. But growing up and thinking through how I’ve  been raised, I've just been taught and told to stick it out-stay-and find some way to make it work. It really sucks sometimes because I often find myself having a miserable time but I stay anyway because that's the social norm right? 

I actually got this idea after seeing a post on Facebook by Erynn Brook and she talked about a sleepover that she went to when she was little, and how her mum stressed to her that at any point in the night, if she wanted to go home, she could call her, and her mum will come immediately and pick her up. It seems like such a simple, childish example, but I really got her as I kept reading the post; I could see her point in sharing this experience. It’s to help us understand that if we are put in situations like that, more often than we even realise, it becomes an obligation, where it's expected, where it's almost necessary sometimes, that we stick it out and stay no matter what. But this is clearly pushing or breaking a boundary within us that is integral to ourselves, and we do it so often we do not even realise that we should stop and put ourselves before them. A simple thing of just asking yourself in a social situation, “Am I comfortable? Do I feel valued? Do I feel like this is a good way for me to spend my time? Do I have friends or people here that care about me?” These are helpful questions that we are allowed to ask ourselves as a point of reference in deciding “Should I stay or go?”

Should I stay? Should I go?

I also find it frustrating that when I tell people I lean towards introversion more than extroversion, they immediately think that I'm antisocial, or that I am a loner, or that I don't have that many friends. When contrary to that, it's actually that I am more aware or more selective about the social situations I'm in. Before reading this post, I wasn't very good at deciding or knowing that I can leave a situation after being in it. That I'm allowed to attend, and decide if I want to stay or go. Before I would just not go at all and I think it's taken away from a lot of amazing experiences that I could have had, but I also did it as a form of protection from awful experiences that I could have had as well. Knowing this truth, knowing that I'm allowed to leave once I've been there, allows me to still take risks in being more sociable and then making the informed decision in the moment on whether I should stay or go. 

I think this post also reigns true for relationships, for a job or degree, for any other kind of situation that we feel stuck in and think that we are obligated to stay because that's how we've been raised, or that's just how things work. There is a part in her post where Erynn mentions that if you are worried about keeping your word, or worried about losing face, worried about causing trouble, or putting people in an awkward position, or just in general causing drama, which is what I've been raised think I'm doing when I decide I don't want to be in a situation, or be with whatever it is I'm committed to anymore,... It's important to remember that you are keeping your word to yourself, to the boundaries that you've created, and to your own integrity. And that's so so much more important than other people because you live with yourself. You have to live with the consequences of unhappiness or discomfort far more than other people. So choose yourself over them. They’ll get over it eventually, it’ll take you longer to have to deal and move on. 

So I hope from this post that we all learn to listen to ourselves, to be clear about our boundaries. It's ok to leave, it's ok to want to move out from a place of discomfort, and it's ok to put ourselves before other people. Don't ever feel obligated to stay in something you don't want to anymore; be courteous, be polite and be calm when exiting. This is so people know it's not personal, it's just what's best in the moment for you. And as people grow with you, they'll understand and boundaries can be formed together as a form of strengthening a relationship. I think with us making mature and self-aware decisions like this, the world could be a much more peaceful and strengthening place to be in. 

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Avatar for thehappinessequation
2 years ago