How to Know When Something Isn’t Good for You Anymore

3 ways to help you figure out if that job, relationship, or friendship should be over

Photo by Vladislav Babienko on Unsplash

Have you ever stayed in a relationship or stayed at a job that you knew wasn’t good for you? You try to fool yourself everyday but deep down you know that you aren’t happy. You might even feel like you lost yourself. You try to remember what you used to do for fun and you can’t remember a single thing. But for some reason, you keep defending that job or that relationship. Not only defend — you get irritated when anyone tries to get you to see the truth.

I’ll give you an example. In high school, I stayed with my boyfriend at that time for 5 years. We broke up about a total of 15 times. Or more. Honestly, I don’t care to remember. Just trust me, it was an obnoxious amount of times.

We first started dating when I was a sophomore. I was what, 15? I was so young and yet, I thought I knew everything there was to know about well.. everything.

I won’t bore you with the soap opera type fights or all the anxiety I had back then. I will tell you that even though he was a good person, we just weren’t right for each other. Now that I am almost 29 and have been with my current boyfriend for 6 years now, I can look back on that high school relationship and see that it was all wrong for me. But at the time, I couldn’t see the truth that was right in front of my face.

That’s life though. You don’t know what is best for you until you are finally out of the situation and can analyze it with a new mindset. We tend to get so caught up in the moment and forget to ask ourselves — “Is this even what I want? Does this make me happy?”

That high school relationship taught me something very important and that is to never stop asking yourself if a situation you are in truly makes you happy. Because why should you settle for something or someone that isn’t for you?

This goes for anything in life — jobs, friendships, relationships — literally anything! If something in your life is starting to make you feel uneasy, or anxious, don’t ignore that feeling. Take some time to analyze it and see what you come up with. You might need to change what you are doing, or you might even need to disconnect from that person or situation. You don’t need to disconnect forever, it can even be just a couple days or a month. Give yourself the space and the time to figure your feelings out before making a decision.

I am not saying to immediately quit a job or end your relationship just because you aren’t feeling positive about it at the moment. It could definitely be just a weird moment where you have a lot going on and your feelings are misplaced. Always try to make sure you know where your feelings are coming from. Reacting due to misplaced feelings can cause even more problems.

For a huge part of my life, I made a conscious choice to ignore gut feelings about friendships, jobs, and relationships. Those gut feelings made me feel so guilty because I felt like I had some type of obligation to that friend, job, or relationship. I felt like I always had to be on my game and never question anything. All I will say is that created a lot of tension that could have easily been avoided. I made situations and interactions with people so much more painful because I just wouldn’t listen to myself.

There are a few ways to figure out if something you are doing or someone you are involved with isn’t for you.

You Aren’t Happy

This should be an obvious one, but from my experience, it is sometimes the hardest to notice. When you are in a situation like I described above, you could just be going through the motions. You know what is expected of you, so you just keep pushing forward. It can be said that you might just be on auto-pilot and not even realize how truly unhappy you are. Your unhappiness becomes your new normal. Doesn’t sound like fun does it?

One way to figure out if a situation isn’t for you is to pay attention to how you feel outside of that particular situation. How do you feel when you are spending time with friends and family? Do you feel excited when working on your writing for that freelancing career you are trying out? Take how you feel in those scenarios and compare it to how you feel in the situation you aren’t sure about. If those scenarios brought you noticeable happiness and contentment, and you don’t have those same feelings in your current situation, then it’s safe to assume that situation might not be the best for you. Make a change that makes sense for your situation and move on to something new.

You Lack Motivation

If you have to give yourself a pep talk to get out of bed for work (we all have to do this once in awhile but I’m talking about every single day), it might be time to get another job. If you have to drag yourself out of the house for date night with your significant other, it might be time to end that relationship. Or maybe you have to force yourself to eat that weird healthy dinner your friends all told you try, it might be time to order a pizza instead.

Lack of motivation is another huge red flag to show that something just may not be for you. You won’t have any fun if you drag yourself to something that your heart isn’t in.

You Can’t See a Future

This is a big one to pay attention to. If you are at a job, and you try to picture what life will be like in a year, or even a few months, and you feel like crap, start applying to other jobs. Try to figure out what you are truly passionate about and do your best to find a job that aligns with it.

If you are with someone that you can’t picture bringing to the next family event, it might be time to sit that person down and explain that the relationship is no longer working for you. Just try to let them down easy.

This even applies to friendships. If you can go weeks without seeing or talking to a friend, and you don’t miss them, or even think about them, that friendship is on its way out the door. We all have moments in life where we get busy and can’t make time for our friends and that’s understandable. But if you just keep going through life as if that person no longer exists, that friendship is over and just not for you.

This may have sounded harsh. And honestly, it kind of is. We tend to just cling to things and waste so much time on people and jobs that don’t make us happy. Do not blunder through life and keep going through the motions. If you have been doing this, don’t beat yourself up. Just make the necessary changes and take what happened as a learning experience. From now on, do your best to always listen to yourself. You have a lot to say if you just listen.

If you have any other ways to tell if a person or situation isn’t for you, reach out and let’s talk about it!

Writing about all kinds of life stuff. Sharing my experiences to help and inspire others. ashleymattice.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store