When you need a way out

You’re having just a regular conversation with him. Nothing out of the ordinary. Without any warning, he says “By the way, I wanted to tell you something. You remember that time when…” What follows are some crappy comments about you, and something you have done recently.

The thing that bothers you the most isn’t so much if he’s either right or wrong to say what’s been on his mind. It’s the way he does so. This time, it’s just one too many for you. He crossed a limit he shouldn’t have.

In a machine-like reaction, your thoughts shift gears and you hear yourself thinking “That’s enough…”.

Reaching that point, in any professional or personal relationship, rarely leaves someone emotionless.

 

THE “WHAT NOW?” DILEMMA

What do I do from here?

Out of frustration and anger, when this question pops in our head, we’re good, us humans, at making bold statements like “I’m gonna do whatever it takes!” Taking onto ourselves to find and consider any option available out there. Even those we would normally discard – for various reasons. Because we’re well pass the point of “One day I’ll leave, if I ever find something better”. Leaving this relationship has now become a must.

But we don’t always feel like jumping out of our chair. At times, we rather feel like we’re falling off from it.

Powerlessness, fear and desperation tend to hit us hard, when it happens. “I can’t do anything” is the kind of thing we say. Which is the opposite of “I’m gonna do whatever it takes” in every way. Even things we’d normally do, under similar circumstances, seem to go off our radar then.

So “What do I do from here?” grabs most of our thoughts for a while.

But having to pick one option, whether from the “Everything is possible” bucket or the “Nothing is good enough” one, leaves you facing the same dilemma in both cases: what now?

 

ASKING A DIFFERENT QUESTION

This dilemma shed lights on the fact that both situations have more in common than we might think. They’re about wanting to leave a situation you can’t tolerate anymore. They both express a deep desire for change. Moreover, both situations suffer from not providing you a clear direction to take.

A question worth asking ourselves, when facing such lack of clarity, is “What is it that I don’t want in my next _____ ( job, relationship or else)?

Identifying a possible way-out strategy or Plan B doesn’t come from having to pick one (or two) among all that are possible, anymore. It comes from picking one (or two) among all those that are left.

Left because they end up matching what you want.

Making your decision about your next move easier.

You don’t have to be bold in your decisions and moves, because your emotions are big or intense. You need to get clear on the direction you want to take.

Sometimes, to achieve that, all you need is to ask yourself a different question.

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Photo by: Joshua Ness

Design by: Di Mellon

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