Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Sometimes you just have to walk away… January 9, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 12:56 PM
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An especially bright spot in the heart of downtown Faribault is the Second Street Garden, a pocket garden with positive messages like this one. Minnesota Prairie Roots edited file photo August 2019.


BY NATURE, I AM a quiet observer. Not introverted. But a watcher, a listener, the person who mostly sits back, especially in a room filled with strong personalities.

But that doesn’t mean I embrace overpowering people, especially those who talk over and at others. That type of self-centered behavior bothers me, bothers being a tempered word choice. Lack of empathy, understanding and compassion hurt personal relationships, communities, countries. I see too many people driven by their goals, their agendas, their misinformed/uninformed assessments of others and of situations. Their “I’m right” and “I don’t care if I’m hurting you” perspectives.

How do you fix that on a personal level? The answer: We usually can’t. I’ve learned that unless someone is willing to engage in civil dialogue, it’s probably a waste of time to even have a discussion. I can only control how I react. And sometimes the best way to react is simply to walk away, to let it go, to extract myself from those who are toxic, who lack empathy and the ability to think beyond themselves.

The Minnesota Nice part of me screams, “That’s not very nice!” But the reality is that we all deserve respect. To be heard and understood and loved. Every. Single. One. Of. Us.


© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


26 Responses to “Sometimes you just have to walk away…”

  1. Right there with you in walking away. I know someone like this and it grates on me at times. Have to be the loudest (especially in laughing out loud too), look at me center of attention, negative/down talk to almost verbal vomit, etc. Not very nice and to the point of rude and disrespectful. There is no changing a person like this so you are left in making the decision on how to be around someone like that. I agree that everyone deserves respect and to be heard and understood and have that sense of belonging and be loved. MomCraves taught me two very valuable life lessons. #1 Nothing nice to say keep your mouth shut. #2 Act like a duck and shake it off. Great Post Today! Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

    • Thank you, Renee, for sharing your thoughts and your experiences. Thanks also for sharing those valuable life lessons from Mom Craves. Those fit so well with the topic of today’s post. I would very much enjoy the company of your mom. She sounds like one wise woman.

      My mom always told us this: “Don’t say anything bad about anyone else’s kids because you never know what your own kids may do.”

  2. valeriebollinger Says:

    It’s always good to be reminded we can’t fix other people. And, I agree, sometimes just walking away is the best choice!

  3. valeriebollinger Says:

    Actually I mean we can’t change other people,..nor can we fix them. 😉

  4. Duke1959 Says:

    you are so right!

  5. Yes- I think this is a growing problem. How can you combat rudeness when you do not want to hurt feelings. I think we are losing our ability to be polite. And the people I see like who you describe are not young people.

  6. JanBeek Says:

    Oh my! This blog really spoke to me! I cannot agree with you more. When you wrote, “the reality is that we all deserve respect. To be heard and understood and loved. Every. Single. One. Of. Us,” you spoke to my heart! May I reblog this post on my blog, JanBeek? My sub-title is “Love One Another,” so you can see why I want all my readers to see this post. Of course, the reblog would give 100% credit to you, the author. I think it is so important that we all set firm limits on what we tolerate and what we cannot accept. Putting up with people who do not have any intention of offering a morsel of respect is hurtful. I agree that “their ‘I’m right’ and ‘I don’t care if I’m hurting you’ perspectives” are harmful to them and to me – if I stick around and take it. Sometimes walking away is the only sane option!

  7. Of course we all deserve respect. But it is not always given and honestly –sometimes I believe respect is something that is earned. When people “expect respect” because of their position or financial situation or whatever it can definitely be off putting. So there are two ways to look at it I guess. I was just having the conversation with my friend yesterday about how she and I word things so that we make others feel listened to and shared an example of something someone had to said to me that just cut me off . We both agreed that it is so much nicer to respond with a thank you and a gentle response than to just sharply say “Well, I kind of do know what I am talking about”. 🙂

  8. Susan Griebel Says:

    My response, with a smile on my face, “Manners look good on everyone.” Not sure “everyone” gets it. But the other day I saw a sign: Minne Sorta Nice! And it was not in Minnesota! So possibly we all need to dust off our manners.

  9. jhc1218 Says:

    Boundaries are healthy on so many levels.

  10. Almost Iowa Says:

    The best description of belief is: certainty beyond the facts.

    There is nothing wrong with this per se, but belief without humility is nothing but trouble and we see it manifest in everyday life from politics to the best way to start a stubborn lawnmower. It’s if often overbearing as it is obnoxious

    Though one can never live without belief or faith, it must be practiced with humility, as in, hey, this is what works for me.

  11. Edward Brian Says:

    Well said Audrey.

  12. Littlesundog Says:

    Sometimes it’s necessary to get in touch with our inner skunk. Skunks are interesting and fun to watch, but they’re best at protecting themselves with that odoriferous warning. I practice that quite a bit, and perhaps it’s because I’ve spent a lifetime with toxic family members. I am an introvert, and I keep to myself a lot, but I’m not afraid to say something when another behaves in an offensive manner. It is best just to speak softly and walk away.

    • Oh, Lori, I just have to laugh at your skunk comparison. That fits.

      I’m not afraid to speak up either when necessary. But sometimes that isn’t an option. Your advice is good, though, to speak softly and then walk away.

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