“Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.” – Homer Simpson
Ever since we were little kids, we’ve been taught over and over again that no matter what happens, we should keep trying, keep going, like the Little Engine who probably couldn’t but oh my God, look, he could! But weirdly enough, what we never really learned is that our happiness and well-being should trump over trying something that, though we’ve given it our best effort, makes us feel depressed and unworthy. I’m here to tell you that sometimes, giving up is the best thing you can do for yourself. Quitting something doesn’t always mean you’re a coward. It can mean that you respect yourself enough to say, “I’m going to take a step back here” and it can actually be a pretty brave thing to do. Here are ten times when you should give up.
10. When you’re not getting anywhere in an argument.
If someone isn’t getting your point or you’re not understanding where they’re going, just drop it. It isn’t worth your frustration or your anger. Like the cab driver who tried to screw me over a few days when he drove me from LAX through downtown in order to get to my apartment in Los Feliz. If you have any idea what I’m talking about, then you’ll realize that he was trying to take me…for a ride. (“YEEEEEAAAHHH!”) This turned into an argument, because he wouldn’t listen to me (he also said that a certain discount only applied to “businessmen”) and finally I said, “I’m not going to argue. We’re going to agree on a fee and that’s it.” He started to yell at me more and I said, “I’m not arguing.” Finally when we got there and I took a photo of his license plate so I could report him, he told me, “Take a picture of my ass too.” Don’t worry buddy, I also got a photo of your driver number, so your ass will be handed to you very nicely.
9. When you’re too tired to cook.
I’m not giving you a free pass to do this every time, but there are those days when you come home and you just can’t. You can barely muster the energy to find a takeout menu or go to the store. Maybe you eat a box of Wheat Thins and an empty ice cream cone for dinner. So what? Who cares? It’s fine. Or order the damn pizza that you’ve been agonizing over all week. Do not let food cause you misery. Eat it and enjoy it with the promise that you’ll cook the next two nights or you’ll at least walk to the pizza place next time to pick it up.
8. When you really, really suck at something.
This one, lots of you will probably disagree with and I understand why. It’s a great idea that if you try something over and over you’ll get better at it. But you could actually get worse at it. And then you’ll get frustrated and maybe even hate yourself. If you don’t mind that you really, really suck at something and you’re having a good time, then go ahead and keep sucking, you rascal! But if you want to be the best gymnast in the world and you keep falling on your head, it might be time to try something else.
7. When you are full of self-pity.
I don’t mean give up on life or yourself, I mean stop feeling sorry for yourself. Just quit it. There are lots of things about our lives that suck but I bet there are even more things about our lives that don’t. It’s just easier to let a bad day outshine a good one. Give up this attitude and adopt a better one. Instead of feeling pitiful, feel anything else. “Whenever I get said I stop being sad and be awesome instead.” — Neil Patrick Harris as Barney on How I Met Your Mother should be your new spirit guide.
5. When someone continuously lets you down.
We want to give people chances. We want to believe that our friend aren’t assh***s. We want to believe that they’re totally going to pay us back for those Arcade Fire tickets. But at a certain point, you have to realize that maybe consistently disappointing you isn’t worth inconstantly making you happy. If I invite you three times to three different things and every time you tell me you’re going to come and every time you don’t show up (and don’t have a valid excuse), I’m going to feel like an idiot for inviting you a fourth time. To quote George W. Bush, “Fool me once…shame on you. Fool me twice…you…you just can’t get fooled again.”
4. When you are irrationally angry.
There are always going to be haters and idiots out there and they’re going to upset you either unintentionally or with full blown, balls-out intention and by all means, stand up for yourself, but don’t be blinded with rage. Maybe you even have reason to be angry. But put it in a wider perspective. Do you want to be known as that angry chick who is “too sensitive?” No. Is that fair to you? No. But the hilarious thing about life is that it isn’t fair. So just give up your anger and try something else. Don’t even aim for peace; indifference is fine.
3. When you’re in a relationship that lowers your self worth.
No one should be with anyone that they don’t actually want to be with. Don’t spend your time with someone who makes you feel badly about yourself. They’re probably not going to change. Not even if they have a near-death experience. Their place could crash into a shark’s mouth and that’s not going to change their view on how they treat other people. Give it up.
2. When you’ve been waiting too long for an apology.
Sure, you could maybe finally force them to apologize but you can’t force them to mean it. You’re the one who should apologize to them. Like, “I’m sorry. SORRY YOU SUCK.” But don’t say that out loud, just think it and move on. Some people just don’t know what an apology can really mean to someone and those aren’t people you need to know.
1. When they’re not calling or texting you back.
There’s no excuse anymore for not replying to someone. Even if your phone was stolen by ninjas who then tied you to a tree and placed your phone on a train track and forced you to watch while a train ran over it with the conductor staring right into your eyes and laughing, you can still email/tweet/Facebook message/YouTube comment/whatever to get in touch and say, “Hey, I don’t have my phone anymore, the weirdest thing happened to me…” Because the thing is, if you really want to talk to someone, you’ll find a way. If Jon Hamm texted me and I dropped my phone into a pit of lava I would immediately do everything in my power to get back to him. I would punch Justin Timberlake in the face. That wouldn’t help at all, that’s just a goal of mine. The point is, realize that you deserve to be respected and that you don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you.
All images from ShutterStock. If you liked this post, check out Top 10 Underused Excuses and Top Ten Problems for People Who Don’t Have Real Problems.