How Do You Know When It’s Time to Quit?

Conflict, hurt, anger, poor communication, lack of appreciation— whether it is a marriage or a job, there are thousands of us walking around suffering from toxic relationships! We think we are in the right, that this situation is harming us, and we should quit. But, if we keep running through the problems we have with our partner or our boss in our mind, it is easy to start believing that the problem is US!

So, if it’s bad, we have to figure out HOW BAD IS IT?

A common challenge is that most of us haven’t had dozens of serious intimate relationships or worked in dozens of different places. We don’t know if our current situation is normal bad, really bad, or one of the worst things ever!
One helpful approach is to assess the problems you see by asking a series of questions regarding the problem behaviors and negative characteristics displayed by your partner or the organization you work for.
Grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down some honest answers to the following:
• How long have these problems existed? Are they relatively new, or have they been there as long as you have been together (and longer)?
• How often to the negative behaviors occur?  Daily? Weekly? Every three months?
• What is the intensity of the behaviors? (For example, there is a difference between your spouse or your supervisor using an angry tone with you versus swearing at you.)
• How many problem behaviors are there? Just one or two? Are there ten or more? Or too many to count?
• What solutions have been tried? If no interventions have been tried, why not?
What results have occurred in response to different actions taken?
• What is the impact on you from the unhealthy behaviors and characteristics?
It is important to take some time to think through and write down answers to the previous questions. They are just other ways of talking about Duration, Frequency, Intensity, and Scope.
It is easy to just quickly go through them in your mind, but if you take the time to reflect and write down specifics, you will gain a far more accurate picture of the seriousness (or not) of the issues concerning you.
Probably the most important factor to consider in your decision to quit is to determine the impact this situation is having on you and your life.
You should consider the following:
Your physical health:
+ Weight gain (or loss of appetite)
+ Frequent headaches
+ Digestive problems
+ Increased health problems or accidents
+ Difficulties with sleep (can’t get to sleep, waking up, nightmares, not feeling rested)
Your ways of coping:
+ Over-the-counter medications, prescription medications
+ Increased use of alcohol, marijuana, or mood-altering drugs
+ Excessive use of the computer, watching TV and movies
+ Social withdrawal (not wanting to interact with others)
+ Excessive spending (clothes, hobbies, vacation)
Your emotional health:
+ Anxiety
+ Anger
+ Irritability
+ Discouragement
+ Depression
+ Hopelessness
+ Lack of energy to complete tasks
Your mental functioning:
+ Increased forgetfulness
+ Disorganization
+ Feeling overwhelmed
+ Not able to handle typical responsibilities
Your interpersonal relationships:
+ Social withdrawal
+ No time / energy for other areas of your life

All of us have the emotional need to feel loved and appreciated by those with whom we live and work. Most of us are willing to admit that we are not perfect and always have room for improvement. And yes,  it takes two to make a successful relationship. And yes, and it takes great managers and leaders to cultivate healthy work environments.

So look back over your notes you just took. Based on your findings, what is your INSTINCT guiding you to do?

Do you need help figuring out what to do next?

I’d love to help! I help people everyday improve their lives by improving their relationships and their ability to communicate their needs. Can I do the same for you?

Email me to set up a time to figure out if you need to double down your efforts or cut and run!

Or book a time right now by going to


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