WHY IT’S OK TO WALK AWAY (IF YOU HAVE TO)

I HAVE what is known as a three strike rule when it comes to people.

And keeping them in my life.

It’s not a rule that is set in stone, but it goes a little bit like this…

Hurt me once, and I’ll forgive you.

Hurt me twice, and I’ll forgive you. But I will consider your behaviour more carefully.

Hurt me three times, and I’ll forgive you. But I will then remove myself from your life.

Sometimes the three times rule increases to four or five times, depending on how much I love or care for someone. Other times, it can decrease to just two times.

But this is mostly how I roll when it comes to life, love and people making mistakes.

Do you think it’s harsh? Some of you may do I guess.

Or do you think it’s too forgiving? I know some may move on much quicker than I do.

Either way, I have to tell you, this little ol’ rule of mine works pretty well for me.

Years ago, I found it very difficult to say goodbye to anyone. I’m a hoper, a believer, a carer, you see.

I look for the good in people, even in the worst kind of people. Even in the ones who don’t probably deserve it.

I’m loving and forgiving and want everyone to live in a state of peace and harmony. Which is lovely in many ways, but as I have learned over the years, it can also be a very painful place to willingly put and keep yourself in.

Because when you forgive people too many times, for too many awful things, life becomes chaotic, drama-filled, cruel and upsetting.

It does you no good. And it does you a hell of a lot of harm.

It takes over your thoughts. It crushes your spirit. It damages your heart.

Sometimes, as I have painfully learned, there is often no other choice than to walk away.

No matter how much you love people.

No matter how much you like them.

It’s about self preservation you see. If people are hurting you, you have to protect yourself.

It’s your right to protect yourself. And it’s a must. Because if you can’t protect yourself and set the bar for others on how to treat you, who else will?

So yes, it’s taken me a very long time to realise that it is OK for me to say goodbye to people. That it’s OK to walk away from the drama, the bitching, the negativity or nastiness.

That whilst many mistakes can – and should be- forgiven, many others shouldn’t and can’t.

Over the past few years, in my enlightened ‘I’m not taking anymore of this s**t‘ state, I’ve walked away from friends who have treated me in less than friendly ways.

Fever London dancing 2

I’ve left jobs where I felt unappreciated and undervalued.

I’ve called time on working with clients who didn’t respect my expertise or pay me on time.

And I’ve limited contact with people, many of whom I have loved dearly.

It hasn’t been easy.

Often I’ve struggled and agonised for weeks over the decision, losing sleep in the process.

Sometimes I’ve walked away effortlessly, without even a backwards glance.

Other times I’ve hung around and stayed a little longer than I should have, hoping for a minor miracle. Hoping that someone may prove me wrong.

But eventually, the light has dawned on me and when necessary and when ready, I have removed myself from someone’s life. With no fuss and no drama.

I wish them well, up sticks and disappear.

And even though it’s often been painful, walking away from people and situations, has helped to be the making of me.

Because let me tell you, when you walk away from friends who don’t deserve that title, you make room for new friends to enter your life.

When you walk away from work places that don’t value you, you place a higher value on yourself and your self belief flourishes.

When you walk away from loved ones who treat you badly, you’re telling them and the world that you deserve better. That you’ve got standards. That you deserve more.

And it’s incredibly freeing.

It makes you feel powerful and strong. And – the biggie – it makes you so much happier.

We all mistakes. I know this, more than most.

And I’m a firm believer that people definitely deserve second chances – sometimes even third or fourth chances – if they’re sorry or hurting or in a hell of a pickle.

To forgive and forget is a kind, loving and wonderful thing to do.

But when that fails?

When you find yourself in agony because of the way someone is treating you or you find yourself under attack?

Well, the only thing you can do, indeed the very best thing you can do, for YOU, is to pack up your loving bags and walk away with your head held high.

It’s necessary, it’s needed, it’s self loving and let me tell you, it’s more than a little OK.

 

With love,

Katie

Lips

 

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35 Discussions on
“WHY IT’S OK TO WALK AWAY (IF YOU HAVE TO)”
  • Such a tough one, I guess everyone has to find their limit, but I think that’s the point. We all deserve to have a limit where we say ‘that’s enough’!
    So beautifully written, I’m glad you have found your limit, I have found it very freeing to know I have pre planned point where I will pull my parachute, so to speak! Lovely to have found your blog at #SundaysStars

  • Wow that first half sounds like me. That’s exactly what I do – normally. Every strike I still stay and give more and more chances until I eventually realise it’s time to pack my bags and go. This post is so inspiring and empowering. It’s just what I needed to read this morning. Lately I’ve not been walking away and have been doing things where I’m not appreciated, doing a job where I’m not valued and being in friendships with people who don’t really deserve the title. I believe everyone deserves chances, but I do sometimes forget when it’s time to let go. xx #sundaystars

  • I need to learn from this too. Sometimes I just need to accept that removing negativity from my life is the right thing to do and not feel guilty about it. Hx #sundaystars

    • It’s tough Helen, especially when you have history with a person, but if someone’s negativity is poisoning your life, it really is the only thing to do, in most cases. x

  • This is so brave to admit and have the guts to do this. I always keep hoping that things will get better even though underneath I probably do realise that it would be healthier all round to let a person leave my life. Has really made me consider friendships differently. Xx

    • Ah I’m so glad to hear that Alice. I stand by the rule that if people willingly make you feel rubbish or they don’t treat you as you deserve, then you have to walk away. This especially applies with friends. With family it can be difficult but our friends are supposed to be the people who build us up and make us feel wonderful. If ‘friends’ don’t do this, well I guess it’s time to find new ones :) x

  • Bang on. My Dad always tells me I forgive too easily, but I do like to give people chances (maybe too many) but sometimes you are so right, you just have to walk away. It’s really not worth sticking around when people’s intentions and behaviour are not going to change. I’ve stopping worrying or trying to please others, I think now at 34, 35 in November, I am happy and confident in who I am most days, equally accepting I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea as other’s can’t always be mine. A sign of growing up right?! Such a wise post, liberating yourself from negative and destructive relationships definitely makes way for new friendships and happiness. That being said I too have made mistakes and feel relieved for second chances from others, sometimes it’s hard being a human! Fab post x

    • Thanks Vicki! Brilliant comment too. As we get older and wiser, I think it becomes clearer when we need to distance ourselves from others, doesn’t it? People always deserve chances, but there does come a point sadly when often the only thing you can do is walk away. x

  • Just found you! What an inspiring post. I’m having a horrible time with two ‘friends’ at the moment. I think you’ve given me the strength to walk away. If only I could apply some killer red lipstick – but with braces it’s just not a good look!

    • Ah sod the braces and wear it Jen! Thanks for ‘finding me’. :) If friends are horrible, just walk. x

  • Wise words my friend!! My mum taught me from a young age to always respect myself and expect respect from others. Also, treat people like you’d like to be treated and if you don’t get this, walk away. For me life is way too short for negativity and nastiness – it’s important to surround yourself with love and positivity. Go You Kate!! I’m with you all the way. Thank you so much for linking up to #SundayStars xx

  • Valuing ourselves is so important and part of that is choosing what we put up with. Choosing what we allow into our lives and our thoughts is so important. I am glad to hear things have changed for you. I so agree in moving away from things that are not good for us. It is a good reflection on how we feel about ourselves. Great post #sundaystars

  • I’m a massive believer in first impressions. It’s the sort of person I am to begin with, but in my line of work often the first impression is the only impression. Did you hear the tale of the man that swore at someone on the tube on his way to an interview? THAT first impression didn’t end well…
    This does work both ways in that, everyone has bad days… however I agree when you say sometimes is all the drama worth it?
    When it comes to friends, I have time to be a friend to them and to give advice and be a shoulder and an ear when they need – but drama – there is none. They know that the only reaction from drama they get from me is ‘short your sh*t out’… and this is the stuff of lasting and loving friendships.
    The first time I met one of these friends, we were five and I kicked a stool into her piano that she’d got that day (25 years ago), the second I met at uni. She laughed at me when I accidentally farted in a lecture and was mortified (12 years ago)…
    Good for you for saying goodbye to negativity and hello to positivity xx

  • It’s all about perspective. If you haven’t experienced things, it can be difficult to really understand why a person is behaving in a certain way. I had a best friend once who wrote me an agonising letter ending our friendship because she believed I was a very selfish person. My beloved father had died and I couldn’t cope… I had 2 very young, demanding children and I was completely overwhelmed by grief, and frankly… Still am, 8 years on. It was an extremely painful read at the most fragile time in my life…. The time when I needed her most.
    I cried with my mum about it A LOT, and she felt that perhaps that one day, she might reflect, or experience the same agonising pain and get back in touch.
    I forgave her as the words were written, I’ve followed her journey from afar and celebrated her achievements, loved her and smiled all the way at the rest :) <3
    Maybe one day, we will be friends again like we once were? For now though. I just love her from afar and respect the decision she made that day.
    Perspective. X

  • Great post, I have a similar thing. Life is too short to be stuck around people who make you feel miserable. I end up overthinking nasty comments or passive aggressive remarks, so these days I instead put my efforts into friends I trust and feel comfortable with. x

  • I think your 3 times rule is good, like you said you don’t want any negativity or nastiness in your life. You need people in your life who you can be happy with. Great post. Loving your blog.

    • Thanks so much Emily! Really lovely of you to say and yes, it’s all being happy and finding those special people who bring out the best in you. x

  • Totally agree that you should preserve your sense of self and protect it from those who erode you. I don’t have a number of strikes but I have over the years gradually lost contact with those who make me feel unhappy. x

    • It’s important isn’t it!? Sometimes we don’t even realise the impact of someone on our lives until so much damage has been done. Gradual loss of contact is a kind way (I think) to distance ourselves. x

  • What a fantastic post Katie, I wish I was more like this. I sadly let people in my life who treat me badly on occasion, not really badly, just not supportive like true friends should be. I know I should just walk away or distant myself but I find myself being worse and actually seeking their approval even more! x

    • Oh Katie! Gosh this last sentence really resonated with me. Funnily enough, i’ve been doing exactly that with one or two people recently. (See, I write these posts and live my lessons, but still often fail at times!) Why is it even if we know someone is unpleasant, not genuine or kind to us, that often we try and seek their approval more? I haven’t quite figured this out, but thank you. Because you’ve now made me realise what I need to do today. :) x

  • This is a wise and self-loving, self-preserving piece of advice love. I have found it easier with some to walk away, and harder with others, and that is just life isn’t it – as you say, the Nu ber of chances you give someone depends on how much you care for them and what that relationship means to you. I also believe that some people come into our lives for a season – it is of course easier to loosen ties with those we’ve known less long, at least for me. But with every case, I completely agree with you – I walk away with love, no bitterness, wishing us both well in our continued journey of authenticity xxx

    • Thank you so much darling. Walking away is often the hardest thing to do, as you say sometimes easy, but often not! But I do believe that if you walk away with no bitterness, give them your blessings and do it for the right reasons, it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself. x

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