I Suck At Goodbyes… Like, REALLY Suck At Them

I Suck At Goodbyes… Like, REALLY Suck At Them

I was thinking this morning while I was eating my breakfast at the dining table by myself. A scrambled egg with salsa verde, avocado, one tortilla, and a side of a gluten-free frozen waffle (actually toasted not frozen) half with butter and half with almond butter and honey. That’s how weird I am but that is not the topic of this post. I was thinking about goodbyes. And I came to the realization that I suck at goodbyes.

I was thinking about the fact that we’re moving again… darn, I was planning on making a post for breaking the news, but now I’ve said it. But I won’t tell you the details yet; I will write a post about it later, in a week or two when we’ve settled down.

For two weeks now, I haven’t been going to my CrossFit gym and I’ll never go back again, at least not here in Utah. I went there several days a week for almost 6 months and met a lot of cool people. People here are so nice. I decided I’d write to the owner/coach to tell her about the move only after I’m gone. So, I’m basically disappearing on them. It was only 6 months, so I’m sure they won’t care that I’m gone. But it got me thinking about my goodbye patterns and how bad I am at them.

Nobody likes goodbyes. But people are way better at them than me, I think. They scare me so I avoid them. This has often put me in an extremely selfish place.

In 2009 when I left my hometown (Mexico City) to leave to the US to “follow my heart”, I basically bought a ticket the night before I was leaving, and only told my mom about it until she questioned me what was going on because she has psychic abilities and could tell something was going on. I never found the strength, the guts, to go to her room and tell her what was going on so she came to me and basically forced it out of me. I broke her heart.

When I look back on my 27 years of life, that is the one thing I wish I would’ve done differently. I still feel bad about it. I wish I had fought my fears of breaking the news and goodbyes, and be less selfish. The thing is, I just freeze up and almost become numb, a weird automatic emotion self-defense mechanism my brain apparently has. And when this happens to me, compassion and consideration become nil. Scary stuff.

My dad found out the next morning that I was leaving in a few hours.

My best friends found out about two days after I was gone, that I had left.

I told you I suck at goodbyes.

When we moved from Oregon, after being there for two years and sharing the same walls with two people, we let them know we were leaving one week before we left, and seven days and a hug later we were gone. Poof, just like that.

I was also going to CrossFit there, for at least a year. I didn’t tell anyone I was leaving except for the coach. Some friends I made found out through Facebook after I was gone.

I am 99% sure the people in Oregon didn’t really mind I left, and if they did, they got over it really fast. They don’t miss me, I’m sure.

Goodbyes absolutely scare the sh*t out of me. I hate them and avoid them.

I haven’t built any strong relationships in 7 years, which I’m also pretty bad at. It’s so hard for me to open up to people, it takes me a long time to feel comfortable with people, so I naturally keep my distance especially since we do move so much. It’s not worth pursuing a close relationship, cause we’d end up leaving again and you know, goodbyes suck.

moving road cat

Moving from Oregon to Utah.

Luckily, I still have five really close friends I’ve known for over 15 years now, whom in spite of time and distance, I can still count on. They’ve put up with my craziness, my weirdness, my lack of goodbyes, my millions of moves, my lack of communication, and I still have their love, friendship, and support. I’m so grateful.

But it wasn’t until today when I was eating a toasted frozen waffle that I realized how terribly bad I am at goodbyes, how much they terrify me, and how much I avoid them. Which is totally fine as long as I don’t hurt others. The problem is when I do hurt others out of my fear and weakness.

The first step is to realize and admit the problem, right? But what now? I don’t know what to do with this new realization. I’m still going to leave this town without saying goodbye to anybody so…

Are you better at goodbyes? Do you have any tips? Should I try to be better at them?

16 Comments

  1. Goodbyes are part of life, whether it is for a season or because we have moved on to our eternal home. Nowadays, a goodbye can be temporary with all the technology available at our fingertips.

    I have a former neighbor who is a very close “e-mail buddy” today, even though we were not close when we lived down the street from each other. Sometimes the goodbyes were a surprise as moves determined who were truly friends as there was no follow-up when we lived a state away. Those goodbyes really hurt.

    One time, I did not say goodbye because of the circumstances. They knew I was moving and we meant to get together to say goodbye, but they never called. I wish I would have followed up to have that “positive” goodbye. Bottom line: I think goodbyes are always difficult. It takes effort to embrace a goodbye, but it is the best closure as we move forward.

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  2. I’m terrible at goodbyes too. I try to avoid them cos of the awkwardness and the emotion. I tend to avoid anything emotional. My psychologist would say my fear of goodbyes is heightened by my avoidance so the only way to get better at it is to stop avoiding them and to learn the world won’t fall apart if I show my weakness, awkwardness, and cry in front of people.
    Definitely not a fun thing avoiding goodbyes. I think of family and people who might have been hurt because I didn’t say goodbye to them. On the other hand I hope they’d understand how I feel and are okay with it. Who knows, guess it’s just another thing to work through. Work out why I’m afraid and then face it to see if my fear comes true or not.

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      • Oh right, that too – haha. Guess it comes down to what you value most and then sticking to that value when making decisions and then being okay with what you decide.
        Or perhaps add some non-suckiness into it where it will give you a moment of joy as well as sadness. For me that might mean making it a special occasion where I can give a gift to say thank you for the time we had together or a card to write how much people mean to me. Or go out and celebrate. I don’t know – hehe, just throwing out ideas that would help me.

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  3. Oh Mani goodbyes are fun! You get to find out how much everyone liked you! Do it girl! Step out of your comfort zone and say goodbye to those people at crossfit. They’ve only known you for 6 months so it will be easy – nothing too emotional – and a good place to start practicing saying goodbye in a way that nobody gets hurt – including yourself!
    Alison

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  4. Interesting about the gym and cookies, I would never have thought of that either! I would definitely eat cookies and cake at gym, haha. Sometimes they had events at my old gym and would always serve fruit salad in paper cups, maybe that would be an option 🙂 Or send them a postcard after you’ve gone, saying you enjoyed your time there and it was nice to meet them all. Goodbyes are always difficult. I work in a job where people come and go, so there are a lot of them. I don’t say the words goodbye anymore, because I found out that most people you do end up seeing again, so now I just say “see you another time”. Maybe you’ll see them online, maybe you’ll bump into them in 20 years. Maybe you won’t, but it still makes the goodbye easier. With those closer to you, it’s much harder of course. Even if you really hate it, maybe just think of them and do it anyway. When someone leaves without saying goodbye, you feel like the person doesn’t care about you, even if it’s not true. Normally when we dread things, it’s worse in our imagination than it turns out to be in the end, so maybe you could give it a try. Good luck with your move! 🙂

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  5. Goodbys…hmmmm.. Seems i have been saying goodbye to my children all my life.. They have been leaving me so many times and ALWAYS my heart is broken!! Once they are out of my sight in the airport i go to a private place ( well as much as I can) and sobb for hours!!!!!

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  6. I am the opposite. I get attached very easily and goodbyes are heartbreaking for me. I have always been this way. I remember as a kid sobbing for days at the end of summer having to say goodbye to my friends I had made that would go home at the end of summer. I think it is just how we are.

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  7. I’m like you, I don’t get close to people irl. You could do something a little differently. First thing that came to mind would be to “feed” them. You are an experienced baker, chef etc…even if it is only for you and hubby…maybe make some cookies and hand them out to people you spoke to on a regular basis. You don’t have to explain your whole life, maybe just say “Yeah, so I’m moving. Here’s a delicious homemade cookie” (and smile) People like cookies and smiles. Safe travels xx

    Reply
    • Oh Jill! “experienced baker, chef..” you’re too kind haha. I mean I do do it a lot haha but still. And you’re right, who doesn’t like a cookie and a smile?
      The problem is you can’t do that at a gym. One time, I actually sent my husband with a frickin’ pan of homemade brownies (just because) when he went to his gym and nobody wanted any! I was totally offended and was glad I wasn’t there haha. But apparently baked goods and people in gyms don’t mix, cause apparently a lot of people are there to lose weight, I forgot because I don’t go to the gym to lose weight, I go cause it’s fun, and healthy, and exercising helps my mood. haha

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