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Telegraphing Exit Strategies


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When I was a kid I was in boy scouts.

The best part was going on backpacking trips.

At first, it absolutely sucked.

Because I was in bad shape.

But even though I was in bad shape, I noticed something strange.

While we were hiking UP a steep hill, it sucked.

But when we got to the campsite, it was fun.

Very fun.

After a couple of weeks went by, I would ONLY remember the good parts.

I would always "forget" how much it sucked until we went backpacking again, and we were on the steep trail going up.

Sometimes for hours.

This is a natural function of the human brain.

Otherwise, we would have gone extinct a long time ago.

We go through a lot of pain and grief to get something good.

But unless we have a serious injury, we tend to ONLY remember the good stuff.

This keeps us motivated to get something better next time.

This is also why we tend to remember things with 20/20 hindsight.

Not just hindsight bias, when we imagine we KNEW things that we didn't really know.

But when something is OVER, and we tend to fixate on ONLY the good stuff.

This is what causes people to get back INTO relationships that are over.

They ONLY remember the good stuff and not all the bad crap.

Then when they get back INTO the relationship, they remember all the bad crap.

Much like when I was a kid and I suddenly remembered how much it sucked hiking uphill for hours on end.

"Oh, man! I forgot how BAD this sucked!"

This happens usually when things end abruptly.

We don't have much time to plan any exit strategy.

We also HATE not having closure.

This is why it absolutely SUCKS getting ghosted.

Part of us will ALWAYS wonder if maybe there is SOMETHING we can do to get them back.

Exit strategies are important.

They can also be VERY USEFUL if they are carefully telegraphed.

Meaning if you are in a relationship, and you aren't sure if you want to end it or not.

You start to very CAREFULLY plan an exit strategy.

This will both TELEGRAPH your plans, so when it ends, it will be a CLEAN break.

But it will also give the other person clear signals to get their stuff together in case they want to salvage the relationship.

This works for friends, lovers and jobs.

By very carefully planning and exit, and very delicately and SUBCONSCIOUSLY telegraphing your intentions, you get the best of both words.

Essentially telling the other party it's THEIR responsibility to keep you from leaving.

If they don't do anything, you will be prepared.

If they beg you to stay, then you've got a real choice.

Either way, you win.

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