• Natasha King

Knowing when to quit

Updated: Mar 20

When is enough, enough?

When it comes to any workplace, our family and our friends we face our own individual challenges. Whether that be the physical, mental or emotional components of a circumstance we are experiencing.  

Right now you may be feeling extra challenged, I know I certainly have. Even though i’ve always enjoyed a challenge, especially people challenges, when is it time to call it quits? 

Trying to reason with a 3 year old this weekend really put things into perspective for me as the solution was there was no reasoning, she was not going to listen while she was processing her emotions. Giving her space while still being there can feel like the hardest thing, especially when it seems to be a day of constant triggers (very common when a child goes through a leap). The desire to say, ' stop crying' or ' that’s no reason to get upset', is tempting and the rejection that can be felt when she pulls away when trying to explain why she can't do that could easily boil into anger. All possible responses I could have had that would have not helped either of us. All of those responses would have stopped her wanting to understand the circumstance or do what I say to please me and not have allowed her to learn how to process her own emotions and work out reason.  Without that challenging day with little miss independent, I would have not had the reality check I needed today. 

Trying very hard to purchase our dream home in the country I’ve also been working casually for a home delivery service as well. As you can imagine their business has almost quadrupled since the start of covid-19 and they are madly trying to keep ahead, hiring more staff and asking a lot from their current employees. 

I’ve been challenged from day 1 since working there with other's emotional immaturity, which I thought was a perfect opportunity for me to work on my reaction to them. You know me, I made it a positive and adapted my own attitude of how can I still be me, stay resilient, hopefully rub off some goodness onto them and do my best work while not reacting to how they speak and act toward others. 

I really enjoyed my personal challenge, I found a stronger voice and felt through the process, I developed some kind relationships with others who were feeling the challenge and together we bounced off one another with banter. 

Yet, I finally realised it was time to quit today when I was trying to reason with a few adults with 3 year old attitudes. When stuck in their own emotions there was no seeing anything other than what they wanted to see. No matter my attitude, no matter how much I tried, no matter how many times I agreed when I shouldn't have, no matter how hard I worked and did exactly what I was told, even working through the whole day without a break and putting in extra hours without pay, there was no change. 

The days were always filled with contrary and delivered with condescendence. Like a teenager slamming their bedroom door in one’s face over and over. I finally saw that no matter me being unaffected by the passive aggressiveness through words and actions, the verbal abuse spoken behind others backs, the verbal abuse spat at others when things didn't go to plan and the blame thrown around with daily adult tantrums on display, nothing was changing. The pressure of their growing business and pressure on the employees was increasing disgraceful emotional management. 

I used to find it hilarious to be an observer to them all, like an educational tv show, but today I had enough. So I quit. It was hard and I was upset.  I had to coach myself through the doubt of the decision, all the implications that would unfold for myself and my family, my own self doubt in my abilities and the thought of letting others down and the giant big WTF am I going to do now. 

Gladly doing the work of self coaching has me out on the other side now and excited for the opportunities I now have moving forward. 

Many of us, especially me, hate quitting as we can make it mean that we failed and wasted our time and thinking like that doesn’t help.  I easily went into the I failed mode and soon realised how can you fail when you try? I think the definition of failure should be, when one doesn’t try at all. 

If you try and try without success there has to be a judgment call when your values are placed at jeopardy. It is very easy for us to place a judgement call on someone at the effect of a tantrum that inflicts physical abuse, which is get as far away from the inflictor as possible and serve them due consequence. Yet it gets a little murky when it comes to much more subtle circumstances of others tantrums. Whether someone is reacting to traffic or huffing about waiting in line or a loved one rips loose on a plan not working out. We have all been at the other end of someone's tantrum and it can be very easy to tantrum right back at them.  What I have learnt and been reminded today, is that it is much more beneficial to give the tantrum makers space, don’t even bother because you will save yourself.  You can see them acting out like a 3 year old and remind yourself silent space is key. Reasoning will come later or maybe it won’t, either way you will have the space to process your feelings and work out whether reasoning can be made that respects your values and needs without acting out like them. 

So at the moment if people are getting under your skin and pushing your buttons think about why? Are you focusing too much on one thing, is it really worth you feeling terrible?  If it is worth it, then seek a solution with a better outcome by finding what you could do differently to get a better result. Remember we have no control over other's emotions, certainly influence, but no control, even when it comes to a 3 year old. Just think about the times you’ve felt anger and frustration, it’s probably not going to be an easy time to seek reason with you. 

The best rewards truly come when we can give space and support, speak kindly and want to understand one another. 

Thanks for reading and as always, thinking of you, wishing you well and feeling grateful I can share my experiences with you in the hope your future self has an easier drive. 


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