When it's okay to quit

By admin
25 January 2014

Sometimes pushing the eject button means a happier you

You’ve heard the phase “don’t ever give up” over and over again. And it makes sense: if your dream is to work for Nasa, sing like Justin Bieber or sail around the world, then yes, you should go after what you want. But is it okay to walk away if something is just not working for you? Psychologist Louise Remond says yes. “Not being a quitter is great when you’re trying to work towards a positive goal, but sometimes making the choice to quit is the braver and healthier option.”


Your relationship is making you unhappy

John (16) has been with his girlfriend for a year but it’s been a roller-coaster ride, with public meltdowns and petty scraps. “We don’t even say sorry any more. Our arguments usually escalate into a full-blown fight and we’re both so over it we move on like nothing really happened,” he says. This is not cool. “A healthy relationship is one that generally makes you feel happy and adds something to your life,” Louise advises. If you’re spending more time feeling miserable in your relationship than good then it’s okay to walk away.”

You drift apart from your bestie

Nicole (15) is seeing less and less of her best friend since she changed schools. “We were inseparable. Now it’s changed to ‘hi, how are u?’ on a Facebook chat. I feel guilty I don’t think about her anymore.” If you’re happy with your current friendship situation don’t beat yourself up – people change (and it’s not necessarily a bad thing). “If you and your friend are going down different paths it’s okay to allow each other to move on. Doing this allows you to open yourself up to making stronger connections with other people,” Louise says.

You’re fighting with your parents

Michael (14) argues with his folks all the time. “They’re so annoying and controlling.” It might seem like they’re against you but they’re really not. “Fighting with your parents can be exhausting and creates a negative cycle,” Louise says. When you’re not all shouty, try to talk to them. It’s the best way to get them to really listen to you, she advises.

You start to put pressure on yourself

Andre (16) can’t handle being bad at anything. “I don’t go out at weekends because I have way too much schoolwork to do, plus exams to study for. I also play sports so I need to be focused all the time. I don’t want to be a failure,” he says. “You’re headed for a total burnout,” Louise warns. “Having this attitude can be draining. You don’t need to be good at everything to feel okay about yourself.” By relaxing a little you’ll find you’ll enjoy the things you do a whole lot more.

You feel like you need to follow everyone else

Alana (17) has just moved to a new school and feels sick at the thought of being kicked out of her new group. “The girls like to skip morning classes so it’s expected that I tag along. I don’t know anyone else so I’m scared they’ll ditch me if I refuse,” she says. Um . . . sitting through a double period of history beats afternoon detention any day! “It’s okay to say no and do your own thing. True friends will always accept your personal choices,” Louise advises.


- smoking

- crash-dieting

- boozing

- spending all your time on your cell phone

- skipping your last class of the day

- cheating in class

- stalking your ex on Facebook

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