Growing Up Means Learning to Say Goodbye

Learning to say goodbye is an act of personal growth. Doing it in the best way will help you cross over into a new stage of your life.
Growing Up Means Learning to Say Goodbye
Cristina Martínez de Toda

Written and verified by the psychologist Cristina Martínez de Toda.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

They say that growing up means learning to say goodbye. It means learning to close doors forever, with no room for a ‘see you later’. It’s a final farewell, there’s no turning back. A solid goodbye with a period at the end of it. However, if there’s one thing we all know, it’s that these kinds of goodbyes are extremely difficult to handle.

Nevertheless, when a relationship is hurting you and negatively affecting your self-esteem, it simply isn’t healthy to just leave things on standby. Naturally, saying goodbye is a big step to take. Because reaching that point of no return is always upsetting. Furthermore, you find yourself facing a whole new future with that person you said goodbye to no longer in it.

“Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending”

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow-

Fear of saying goodbye

If you never dare to say goodbye you’re leaving  a window open to pain, disappointment, and disillusionment. Hope is the last thing you’ll let go of. However, if it’s a lost cause, it’s better to take a deep breath and let go.

Psychologists Kathrin Ritter and Vanessa Handsel of the University of Tennessee claim that we often struggle to be aware of the most damaging relationships, the ones that take away our dignity and self-esteem.

Consequently, these kinds of relationships are difficult for you to recognize. Furthermore, once you do, it’s extremely hard to take that final step and say goodbye. Nevertheless, doing so is a courageous act that you must carry out.

Sad woman in bed thinking of saying goodbye

Saying goodbye to the one who broke your heart isn’t something you can do overnight. Because they’re the one who tore your soul apart. The one you say ‘see you later’ to, because you’d rather feel pain than feel nothing. In fact, the fear of saying goodbye terrifies you.

Therefore, you choose pain, anger, and rage instead. You don’t even think about saying goodbye. You think that you’re only capable of experiencing these kinds of feelings. Because you don’t know anything else. Because you’ve not been taught to feel any different and because you don’t dare to say goodbye.

You believe that your heart will freeze forever and you’ll never feel it aflame again. However, this is okay. As a matter of fact, the best thing that can happen to you is that you never again feel that burning sensation that consumes you. There’s another, better condition, one where you neither freeze nor burn.

It’s a midpoint of a soft, cozy warmth. One that doesn’t burn you and doesn’t freeze you. It extends from the top of the head to the tips of your toes.

boy listening to music and thinking of saying goodbye

You need to realize that when you say goodbye, someone new will appear, someone who’ll hug you so tightly that your heart will melt again. Maybe not next week, maybe not even next year. But they’ll come. In fact, when you learn to say goodbye for real, your soul will be free to welcome someone who truly deserves you.

Learn to let go, not to waste your time

Gradually, you’ll learn to say goodbye to the one who took advantage of you, your friendship, and your trust. The one who sold you out. These kinds of people are always here today and gone tomorrow. Furthermore, they have to live in the shadow of other people because they’re unable to radiate any light themselves.

They’re, selfish, self-absorbed, and sad individuals. The ones who only deserve a goodbye from you. The forever goodbye. Then, you can surround yourself with other people who’ve also learned how to say goodbye, because with them you’ll be assured of friendship.

Albert Ellis, the cognitive psychotherapist, and pioneer of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy claimed that everyone has the power to change themselves to aspire to happiness.

Those who’ve suffered, cried, and let go have been able to take a step toward the best version of themselves. They know what they want, and what’s even better is that they want you by their side. You, with all your quirks. They want you next to them.

When you learn to say goodbye, you’ll start to build true and enriching relationships.

Your social circle might be reduced, but you wouldn’t change any of those people in it for anything. In fact, they say that friends are the family we choose. Therefore, you should say goodbye to the one you can’t think of like a brother or sister.

Sad woman thinking of saying goodbye

Fear of loneliness can sometimes stop you from saying goodbye. This means you’re more likely to say ‘see you later’ than a final ‘goodbye’. However, this loneliness is necessary so you can get to know who you need around you. As a matter of fact, fear of being alone is why you tend to maintain relationships throughout your life that neither contribute, make you grow, nor complete you. Nevertheless, it’s the worst possible thing to live, surrounded by people, yet still feel alone.

With so much noise around you, you can’t hear your feelings properly. It’s like listening to a badly tuned old radio. Listen to yourself. Stay away from the noise. Your time is valuable. Don’t waste it on people who don’t deserve it. Learn to say goodbye. Free yourself from those chains and make room for new beginnings.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Garrido, Vicente (2008) Cómo sobrevivir a una ruptura. Ariel
  • Paris, Ginette (2005) Roto. El desamor como un fenómeno emocional y biológico. Taurus

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.