A Domme friend of mine told me today that she plans to dismiss her sub. She asked what the best way to do it without hurting him was.
My response was to just tell him and to also tell him why. While the ripping the band-aid off punch in the face might seem like it hurts someone, it actually hurts a lot less than the alternatives. Ghosting, passive-aggressively trailing off, avoiding them most of the time hoping they will “get the hint,” etc. all may cause a significant amount of damage.
They will certainly cause pain. The damage depends upon the type of person they are. A lot of people are those who are capable of deferring responsibility to the other person. Pain quickly converts into anger/frustration and this keeps them from learning said lessons and dooms them to repeat their cycles over and over again. I generally assume that the people I am close to would not choose a person who is of this type.
This leaves the other type. The other type are the sensitive and vulnerable types that in the absence of a reason, they will find their own. Often this takes the form of self-chastisement and in some cases, self-loathing and depression. Without a reason they will immediately analyze their insecurities and the parts they dislike about themselves the most. They become fixated upon those things. “It MUST be that.” Repeat this enough times and a complex is born that will be fed with each successive failure. In the long run this can lead to some people seeing only their weaknesses and no longer seeing their strengths. At its best, the person will attempt to over-compensate but will never truly be comfortable with themselves.
I know this because I’ve lost count of the number of times that I have been rejected. A handful of them were honest. When shared it was usually some kind way of saying they found me too ugly. One time it was cited that I was too submissive. These were actually kind compared to the torment of not knowing why. When left to my own devices I come up with far worse reasons than being too ugly or too submissive.
I have never actually rejected anyone before. There have been times when I have been unavailable/off the market or when geography is a limiting factor, but I don’t think that is the same thing. To clarify, I have never told someone that I didn’t want to be with them because I didn’t like them or didn’t want to be with them.
With that in mind, I can’t truly empathize with the guilt of rejecting or dismissing someone. What I would assume is that people in a position to reject/dismiss generally have options and knowing that there is someone else ready to make you smile is probably a better place to be in than agonizing over what went wrong, what you need to change about yourself, and so on.