Walking away is a cognitive and purposeful act that does not require emotional closure (although it is easier if you find emotional closure first). Walking away requires you to first look at yourself and take responsibility for the role you played in the situation. After taking responsibility, you can begin to set boundaries for yourself and make changes in your behavior and attitude. These actions can make your decision to walk away more clear and easier to do.
WHEN TO WALK AWAY
If after you have taken responsibility for your role in a situation and made needed changes in your behavior, you realize there is nothing else you can do to improve the situation or outcome then you may want to consider walking away – leaving the situation, relationship, or environment.
HOW TO WALK AWAY
Emotional justice is not yours to deliver. Many people believe that when they have been hurt, they have the right to hurt the person who has hurt them. This is not true even though it may seem unfair. Try using the following as a guide when walking away:
- Take your self-respect with you. Nothing is worth losing your own sense of respect and self-esteem. Exploding may make you feel better in the moment but it takes away every ounce of decency you held.
- Be clear and calm about what you think and how you feel. The calmer you are, the better received and respected you will be by others … and yourself.
- Stand by your decision to walk away. Walking away is a major decision and should be made with caution and thoughtfulness. If you decide to walk away, you have to understand that it is extremely hard to stay the course. So, prior to making your final decision, set up a support system so you can honor the decision you made and then determine if walking away will be permanent or short-term. Also, decide under what conditions you will return, if any.
Walking away should not be the first thing you do, unless it is for good reason. However, if you decide to walk away, make sure it is a sound, objective decision that assessed the role you played in the situation, and that you have done every REASONABLE thing to make things better.