Mon. July 29, 2019: Commitment-Gentle Disengagement #UpbeatAuthors

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Monday, July 29, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

Today is always a difficult day, because it is the anniversary of my father’s death. Yes, it was a long time ago, and he’s been out of my life longer than he was in it, but it’s still difficult, every year.

But today’s post is for #UpbeatAuthors, and it’s our final week talking about commitment. I’m posting some ideas on Gentle Disengagement when you have to break a commitment.

Don’t Commit If You Don’t Plan to Fulfill
We talked about this several weeks ago. Don’t chicken out and say you’ll do something to save yourself in the moment and then back out later and make it more difficult for everyone else. If you know you can’t/don’t want to do something, say no upfront. You are not required to give a reason. “No” means NO.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
As soon as you know you can’t fulfill a commitment, communicate. Do what you can to make it easier on those affected. If you know, two weeks out, that you have to withdraw from a commitment, make those arrangements as soon as you know. Don’t wait until the night before.

Don’t stay in a situation that is toxic or dangerous
This is the exception to the above. If you are in danger and the only way to stay safe in the moment is to lie until you can remove yourself, then do it. And get yourself to safety. If you don’t feel you can go to the police, go to an agency that deals with your specific situation. There IS help out there. When in doubt, talk to your local librarian, who will help you find resources and not discuss what you’ve asked. Not if the librarian has ethics, anyway. That is one of the most important things that was emphasized when I worked in a library — protecting the patron’s privacy, and not gossiping or revealing what books they’ve checked out or what information they needed help to find.

Communicate calmly and with kindness
Don’t quit in anger, if at all possible. Be the calm, steady peron in the room who disengages with kindness and respect.

Growth is Natural
We all outgrow people and situations. Sometimes, we grow at different rates. The kinder you are during disengagement (when it doesn’t put you at further risk), the better it is for all involved.

Don’t waffle
If you leave, leave. It’s one thing to give two weeks’ notice and help with a transition. It’s another to leave, but then be on call or run back any time someone has a problem. It’s great to continue to be a resource for a finite amount of time. Don’t wind up still being on staff without pay.

Learn and apply moving forward
After you’ve regained your equilibrium, look at the situation with honesty and clarity. Learn from it. Do not put yourself in the same situation again, and go through this again. Learn to say “no” earlier in the process where appropriate, and to recognize the early signs that something is not the right fit for you.

How have you gently disengaged from bad situations in the past? What has worked best for you?

Published in: on July 29, 2019 at 6:38 am  Comments (1)  

One Comment

  1. Thinking of you, Devon. Those anniversaries are so tough.

    Amen to all of the above. I’m particularly fond of communicating after a commitment’s been made. I’m not one to let a client’s silence be the rule — if I’m putting my time toward you, client, I’m going to stay in touch until you tell me otherwise.

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