Updated: May 22
Yes, Quiet Quitting is a thing. Quiet quitting normally happens on a job. It means giving minimal effort. It's doing just enough to get by. It's a slow drift away in hopes that no one will notice and then poof 💨 you're gone. The person probably won't volunteer for additional assignments or go above and beyond. They are just coasting along. I believe that people not only quietly quit at work. I believe that people become disengaged (quietly quit) in society, relationships, and on their hopes and dreams. I have quietly quit on many things. I didn't make an announcement. I didn't want nor needed a conversation or permission from anyone. I just stopped. Luckily the things that were important to me found its way back into focus and I was able to get back on track and move forward.
It's so easy to become disengaged in our society. I, for one, don't watch the news. I mean, I get a glimpse of the news here and there. I may see an article or get a notification on my phone of breaking news. I prefer getting my news via notification because I get to decide whether I want to read more or just rely on the catchy headline a journalist decided to give me as clickbait. The news is often too much. Some news segments are filled with violence, one horrible story after the other. There's really only so much my heart can take. Before I know it, I'm depressed, sad and maybe even tearful about something that I can do absolutely nothing about other than sit and watch more and more. I can't in good conscience blame the news reporter for what's going on in our society. The truth is people are acting a plum fool (plum fool, that's my urban influence coming out) and doing crazy stuff. We aren't safe anywhere. Another way that people have checked out of society is not participating in social events. I have family and friends who have not fully come back out since the pandemic started. They do the necessaries like grocery shopping, work and perhaps order takeout food, however; when it comes to being in a social setting, they have not returned, and they have no plans of doing so anytime soon. They are comfortable at home and not willing to deal with what's going on in the world.
Quiet Quitting in relationships is slow ghosting someone. It's doing a slow walk off without the other person realizing that you have checked out or are no longer interested. You may stop being as available for calls and social events. Eventually they get the hint and stop calling and inviting you on dates and social events. Mostly this is the case when a mutual friend or acquaintance asks what happen to "such and such". You're like, I don't know, lol. To keep the façade going, I have learned to say, "the last I heard, they were doing great".
Quiet Quitting on relationships may seem harsh but it may be the best option for a longtime friend or acquaintances that are close to your other friends and family. Sometimes you don't want the awkwardness and all the questions that come with a deteriorating relationship.
Having your hopes dashed one time is manageable but when you're met with constant denials, false starts and flat-out rejection, quiet quitting can feel like the best option. The person would think to themselves, I won't tell anyone ( or update them on the progress), I'll just stop pursuing the dream and stop talking about it.
In a poem written by Langston Hughes called "A Dream Deferred", Langston is suggesting that his dream is already delayed. He is frustrated and time is of the essence. This dream has to be fulfilled or else.
What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore— And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over— like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?
In an analysis of the poem, Andrew Spacey provided these juicy contrast:
a raisin in the sun: a fruit which was once juicy, a nutritious food, now is seen to dry up and become useless. As the sun rises each day, time passes, nothing happens.
like a sore: a flesh wound or symptom of illness which, once neglected, begins to turn bad and could be harmful to the health. Too late for a bandage or cream?
rotten meat: a protein foodstuff that has been left out or forgotten about and is already beyond use. There's something rotten in the state of forgotten dreams.
a syrupy sweet: sugar brings energy and life but this has been out too long and gone crusty. That dream was sweet once upon a time.
a heavy load: who wants to carry such weight unnecessarily? Everyone has baggage but doesn't history show some people have always carried more than others?
When you consider the poem, "A Dream Deferred" and how frustrated he must have felt to pen those words, quitting would have been understandable.
We know the opposite of quiet is loud. And yes, loud quitting is also a thing. Loud quitting is letting others or the powers that be know that you are not happy with your pay ( or situation) and if they don't increase your salary (or resolve the issue), you will resign or quit. I can make an argument for both quiet or loud quitting.
Some have a more favorable view of the term quiet quitting. They see it as creating boundaries and not letting their work consume them. To only do the job that they are being paid to do. They don't let the work they do define who they are and they refuse to take work home or deal with any work related duties when not at work. They see it as work/life balance.
In life, whether you decide to speak up and get what you want, ignore the reality of what's happening or shrink back and just let things happen. You are the only one stuck with the consequences, end result of your actions or inactions. So choose wisely. Don't let this current culture force you into the rat race where you are always worrying, striving, fighting and struggling for more. Find your sweet spot and bloom there.
Is it possible that you are exactly where you should be and doing exactly what you should be doing?
It may not be fancy or glamorous but it may be enough.