Sunday, September 4, 2011

"I'm taking a break."

There are two kinds of breaks:
  1. The kind of break after a great deal of activity or stress, like being such an active participant in something that you feel like you're sacrificing quality for quantity.  There's also the break when life has other plans, someone gets sick, a loved one dies, you get an injury, you're busy with work or school.  There really is something that's requiring your time and attention more than the other activity in which you were participating.
  2. The kind where you can't find a polite way to tell a group or activity that it's no longer supplying you with the kind of stimulation or attention you need.  The thing that drew you into the group or thing is no longer worth the hassle.
Of the two kinds of breaks, the second is the one where people try to talk you back into the group or activity if you tell them the real reason you're leaving.  "C'mon, it's just a transition time."  "We're working through a rough spot."  "It's a team building year."  It's easier to quietly "take a break," pack up your ball and go play elsewhere.  Seth Godin has a nice and short article about this kind of departure here.

How do you leave an area and tell them you're unfulfilled?  I don't have the answer.  I've pissed off plenty of people with my honesty in my day, and I'm sure I'll piss off plenty more.  I've tried the "taking a break" in the past and I always feel like I should've just been honest in those situations, even if I did piss someone off.

I may be a genius, but I sure as hell don't have all the answers on this topic.  Any suggestions?

Note: I'm not "taking a break" right now.

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