Is quitting better than slugging it out?

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Dear Cindy,

I’m a believer in the saying that perseverance is the key to success; that if we just try hard enough, we can make any dream come true.

Just think of what we say and do to urge ourselves on. Don’t be a quitter. Never say die and never give up. But is it possible that you could advance your life more by quitting things that haven’t brought you satisfaction?


Is walking away from a job, a hobby, a friendship and even a diet better sometimes than slugging it out? What do you think?


Dear Annalyn,

Giving yourself permission to quit may actually leave you in a better position to cope with life’s challenges. There comes a time when tenacity turns rigid and ineffective, and trying again is just foolish.

Throwing in the towel requires that you acknowledge the truth about yourself without blame or denial. Like, “I don’t have the talent to be a professional singer” or “I can’t afford this house.” Telling the truth this way is a wake-up call. You recognize that you’ve got to do something differently and that may mean giving up altogether. Often when we do give up on something, we experience a tremendous sense of relief and ease. It’s like stepping out of an old pair of pants that no longer fits.

Quitting isn’t a cop-out, as many believe; rather, it can set us up for an interesting new experience, even if we don’t know it’s shape or form. To feel positive about quitting, we need to redefine success and failure. So if quitting can be so beneficial, why is it often so difficult? The reason is that we tend to stick to an activity longer than we should because we feel loyal to our original choice and want to validate it, or at least save face.

That’s what a friend of mine did when she finally gave up a 10-year friendship. She had a friend who was a very blunt person, but over time, she became negative and sarcastic towards her. So she stopped talking to her friend. Almost immediately she felt a weight had lifted off her shoulders. Letting go of a friendship opened up her life in positive ways. She’s now more comfortable with her own decision-making and confident in her choices.

Whenever you contemplate giving up something, you’re asking yourself to make a judgment call. So how do you know when it’s appropriate to call it quits? After all, sometimes you do need to try harder or put in more time.

What’s important is that you recognize your own limits. Only you can judge for yourself, in the quiet counsel of your own deepest wisdom, if the situation you are in calls for more willpower or a bit of “won’t” power.

God bless,

A father’s jealousy confounds daughter

Dear Dr. Dana,

My problem is about my parents. My father is a very jealous guy. One day, my mother had visitors in our house, and some of them were men.

I wondered why my father did not go out to entertain my mom’s visitors. After we ate our lunch together with my mom’s visitors, he was introduced to our visitors. My father didn’t say anything. He just angrily looked at my mom’s face. My mom didn’t know (until then that) he is (the) jealous (type). Thats when it started.

Every now and then my parents quarrel because of my father’s attitude. He is jealous even of his own relatives who visit our place.

Doctor, I’m afraid because my mother once had a heart attack. Is there a possibility that my father’s behavior will change? In what way? Thank you for the time you will spend reading my letter. I am here waiting for your inspiring advice. I hope that your advice will help enlighten my mind.


Dear Angel,

Jealousy is always associated with fear. When we are afraid of losing someone we consider precious to us, then we tend to hold on very tight to this someone without us noticing that perhaps we already are suffocating the person.

Jealousy is also associated with a person’s worries about his own self. A man who suspects that he is not loved and given importance enough will tend to be jealous. From the looks of it, I think your father needs assurance that he is loved and cherished no matter if at times he behaves outrageously. You can begin with this by paying attention to his needs.

Angel, you can tell your mother to be loyal to your father because her loyalty is his best insurance. Also, tell her to make your father feel comfortable in their marriage by expressing her undying affection in creative means. Make it known that she is satisfied and happy with their marriage. And there should be openness in everything that they do.

Let your father keep track of your mother’s whereabouts, her activities and her circle of friends, and involve him in any family’s big decisions. But do not let him go overboard because if he becomes too intrusive, your mother might feel as if she’s being strangled and it may cause serious problems.

But then again, jealousy is a very personal feeling that only your father can overcome. All that your mother can do is to help him.

Very truly yours,
Dr. Dana R. Sesante

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 25, 2014.


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