How to Break Up

How to end a relationship: how to break up with your employer, your job, or your *sniff* snuggle bunny.

Stever Robbins
5-minute read
Episode #82

Get-It-Done Guy reader Peter writes in asking:

What’s the right way to break up with someone?

Peter, I’m puzzled. You’re the first person to write with a question about relationships. Most people think getting things done has nothing to do with relationships. Nothing could be further from the truth. Relationships make everything happen. We carry our relationships with us everywhere. If you’re like me, you even keep People magazine around, so you can pretend you have a relationship with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, even if you don’t. (Yes, I’m that pathetic, but my therapist and I are working on it.)

Long, drawn out emotional roller coasters can interfere with productivity. You can’t let that slob you’re breaking up with tank your work life as well as your home life. You owe it to yourself and your Corporate Overlords to get through breakups as quickly as possible so you can get back to being a productive cog in the machine. Just remember: a productive cog is a happy cog!

Employer/employee relationships are just like romantic relationships, only you spend more time with an employer than you do with your boyfriend, girlfriend, spousal equivalent, or polyamorous family unit. So today’s tip is just as much about quitting your job is it as about quitting your slob.

Don’t Break Up to Manipulate

Make sure you’re breaking up for the right reasons. I’ve known people whose cry of, “This time I’m really leaving!!” was nothing but a cheap negotiating posture. If you’re breaking up as a way to manipulate your significant other, don’t do it. Learn how to express your needs clearly and calmly and listen to your partner’s needs whether or not he, she, or they express themselves calmly. Threatening to leave just escalates the conflict for no good reason. And besides, your partner’s on to you: they see that you left your stuffed rabbit Cuddles on the bed, so all your dramatic posturing is nothing but an empty bluff.


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.