A long time ago I learned that there was a big difference between running away and walking away from a difficult person or situation. Running away means you don’t have the courage or resolve to address something. Walking away means you have the foresight to understand that you will not be able to change someone’s opinions, beliefs or behaviors. Perhaps you’ve been down a certain road before and finally realize that the road led nowhere. Instead of walking down that road again, repeating your journey to a dead-end, you decide to go in a different direction. Walking away sometimes means preserving your sanity.
Albert Einstein puts this knowledge into perspective.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
I have walked away from jobs, from a friend and from arguments but it wasn’t because I was weak. I walked away when I was at my strongest. I was strong enough to respect my own opinions, loving enough to give someone space when they needed it and wise enough to realize that I couldn’t change someone’s unhealthy behaviors.
I no longer talk to brick walls.
So the next time someone accuses you of running away I want you to stop and think. Are you running away or are you choosing to handle a contentious situation with grace and dignity. Trying to change the unchangeable is senseless. Feeding anger with anger is soul crushing. Sometimes walking way requires the most strength and wisdom.