Thank you. . .but Goodbye

Thank you. . .but Goodbye
Sergio De Dios González

Written and verified by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Last update: 28 July, 2022

Thank you and goodbye are two of the most difficult words to say. Gratitude can be affected by four possible attitudes. There is that of those who want to give thanks but do not know how to (or are ashamed to), or those who only give thanks when social norms require them to. On the other hand, there are people who neither know how nor want to give thanks. Finally, there are also those who are not aware that they should give thanks. 

On the other side we have goodbye. It can really hurt and be hard to say. It is the word we use when we are aware something has ended and will not return. Some farewells tear us up and pierce the stomach. We may sit in silence, unable to say those 7 letters. Given these things, you can imagine how difficult it is to prepare a message that will require both. The truth is that, however complicated it may be, certain situations require it.

Thanks, but. . .

We all have things that hurt us.  We sometimes keep them in our lives even though we know they don’t suit us. Addictions to people, feelings, objects, or behaviors are very common. Acquaintances, friends, and even we ourselves can get caught up in these harmful elements. The more time we dedicate to them, the more dependent we become and the more blind we are for the need to change. It is hard to think that we can give thanks to something that hurts us.

“If you can’t find some aspect of your situation you can thank, then focus on the good days that await you and thank them in advance.”

-Nick Vujicic

We give thanks when we are satisfied with a person or situation. We may be guided by anxiety or compulsion to seek this satisfaction, just like an addiction. That itself takes away our freedom of choice and steals our personality.

How many people seem unlike themselves when they are pursuing one of the addictive elements? It may be a long time before they realize they have a problem. They hit the same wall again and again, even as others try to help or warn them. Unrequited love, for example seeking approval from a boss that despises us or wanting to be part of a group that does not want us, are dangerous elements. We cannot only look to these things for satisfaction.

Goodbye, never to return

There are farewells that are very, very hard. Rarely because of the goodbye itself, but what we are saying goodbye to. Be it an obsession, a person, or an object, saying goodbye and never looking back requires motivation and self-esteem. However, despite the difficulty, we can learn to say goodbye. For this, it is necessary to know how to tolerate negative emotions and accept feelings of sadness, both present and past.

“I say goodbye to you for the rest of my life, even if for the rest of my life I keep thinking of you.”

-Jose Angel Buesa

We don’t always know what will come next after a goodbye. The adaptation period can be longer and more complicated than we initially thought. We must prepare for doubt and possible relapse. To avoid these things, we must refrain from giving half-goodbyes. Saying what you really think and expressing your emotions in an assertive way is the first step in moving forward.

The words of farewell

When we have to get away from something that, apart from the bad, also does us some good, the ideal is to draw up a farewell plan. We can do this through writing, so our disorderly stream of emotions and thoughts can be organized to create a useful meaning. Through the written word we can establish an order of ideas that serves as a reference when we feel confused. 

“Goodbyes always hurt, even when they have been long awaited.”

-Arthur Schnitzler

Writing a letter is  a good way to deal with a goodbye. The title:- Thank you, but goodbye. Starting the farewell with thanks is very important. It is not totally without reason that you stay connected to a harmful person, relationship, or activity. Nobody chooses to be in a place of suffering for no reason. There are a thousand reasons we might stay in a bad situation: momentary gratification, fear of change, difficulty stepping outside our comfort zone, etc.

But then we have to talk about goodbye. It is important to express the negative consequences that we face both in the situation, and in the process of getting out of it. Talk about how difficult the adaptation process will be, but also about the moment of hope for change. Most importantly, focus on the opportunity to move forward without the harmful element you are saying goodbye to.


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