To break or not to break? That is the question. I’m using “break” as a very broad term for ending something. A relationship, a friendship, an affiliation with a group – mostly anything relating to connections outside of the self.
I think in this society, there’s an enormous emphasis placed upon serving others and taking on needs other than one’s own, which is mostly a good thing. This world couldn’t go on without altruism and interdependence. However, there are limits to such charity. One of these is self-preservation.
If a connection is causing you undue harm, you do not have to maintain it. Forgetting about yourself will not help anyone. Any help you give would most likely be in bitterness, or in a spirit of obligation. There’s a point where you need to break whatever connection you have in order to keep yourself safe. That said, you shouldn’t just give up if something gets hard. If you get in a minor disagreement with someone, it would probably be unwise to completely pull the plug. There’s great importance in effort and taking the time to heal.
I suppose it’s all in evaluating the situation. If you’ve repeatedly tried to repair things, and there has been no response for a long time, break it. If things are constantly rocky and there’s no more pleasure in the connection, or if the ratio of conflict to peace is unfortunately disproportionate, break it. If you’re in any danger, break it as soon as you’re able to.
But it’s rarely that easy or clear-cut, honestly.