The Point of No Return

There is a point that you reach when trying to work with someone where it simply isn’t working out.

It doesn’t matter what olive branches they extend.

It doesn’t matter what extra effort they put in.

It doesn’t matter what they try and to do.

It will always come off as insincere, untrustworthy and never being enough.

You’ve done everything you can do to make the relationship work. You’ve poured yourself into it and not realized the gains that you need to continue to make it worthwhile. No matter what they do, or whatever effort they make, you’re done, you’re out, it’s time to move on.

You’ve reached The Point of No Return.

When you’ve reached this point in the relationship, there are only two options available to you;

  1. Grin and Bear it.
  2. Get out of Dodge.

I’ve seen people try and “Grin and Bear It”.

I’ve tried to be that person that Grinned and Bore it, that held back and didn’t lash out at every little thing that person did wrong and tried to get through it, if only for my own sanity.

This strategy is sometimes referred to “toughing it out”, “putting on a smile”, “keeping your head down and doing your work” or any other term you have that generally involves the following emotional steps to be taken on by you (and not the other person).

  1. Hold everything in.
  2. Isolate yourself to prevent any potential outbursts.
  3. Try to forget everything that’s happened and focus on doing what you’re here to do.

This isn’t so much a strategy as it is a tactic (a very bad one) at getting through this problem.

You might be able to do it for a week, a month or maybe even three months — but you will not be able to do it for six, a year or any number of years. You will eventually burn yourself out with so much inwardly focused negative energy that at some point you will need to explode — perhaps at your family, team or some other venue — but it will happen.

It’s not a question of IF, but WHEN— this is key, not IF, but WHEN.

If you are adopting the strategy of “Grin and Bear It”, I urge you to execute the “Get out of Dodge” strategy in parallel— maybe you can’t leave now, maybe not tomorrow or next month — but you can leave and what you need to do is craft the strategy so that you leave on your terms and not because of this relationship.

When you reach the Point of No Return, whether it’s your career, stacking logs, playing in a beer league sports team, getting out and moving on is always the best option. The toll that you are taking, that you are placing on yourself is no longer one that is a part of your job or workload and is now emotional, it’s now consuming your every waking thought and keeping you up at night.

Getting out of a Dodge is not a “throw your laptop to the wind and run” exit strategy.

It’s a phased approach composed of answering the following questions with yourself honestly and earnestly.

  1. How did I get myself into this position?
  2. What do I need to avoid to not get into this position again?
  3. What do I need to do to make that happen?

These are the hard questions you have to ask yourself, you need to ask yourself and you should want to ask yourself — how do I avoid being in this position once again?

Leaving for the sake of leaving and jumping from one pond to the other “hoping” it will be better is a short-term hack destined to fail.

In the short-term you’ll feel great, like a king and everything will go well, but over time you’ll realize that you’re unfilled from a people, career and growth perspective.

But slowly the same patterns will start to emerge, maybe it’s you and you needed to change more before going into the next job. Maybe it was this other person — but if you don’t take a look at yourself and where you want to go — you’ll never know and you’ll find yourself back in the same spot again.

You can come back from the Point of No Return — but running away and sticking your head in the sand are not the strategies you should be looking to adopt in hoping that it’ll someday get better.