Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Giving Up and Letting Go

Giving Up vs Letting Go

People in general have a tendency to give up easily while they have a hard time letting go. The difference lies in the attitude of a person. The difference is in the positive and negative acts.

Giving up
In some cases,” giving up” means quitting something. People give up something if they find hindrances in the path. For example:

She gave up dance lessons because they were too difficult for her.
He gave up his job because it was taking a toll on his health.

Here, “giving up” is a negative act. This is quitting because the person did not have the willpower to overcome it, fight it, or fix it so they quit.
Giving up is also used to indicate an act of sacrifice. When somebody gives up something or somebody for the sake of a better good, it is called giving up. For example:

She gave up her career for the sake of her family.
The brave soldiers gave up their lives for their nation.

It is also used to indicate the act of philanthropy. For example:

Warren Buffett gave up 99% of his wealth for charity work.

“Giving up” can be property or wealth or anything you own for others for their good. These two examples where “giving up” means sacrificing something very important to a person for the sake of others is a positive act. Thus, “giving up” is used for positive as well as negative acts. Their meanings are entirely different and cannot be confused.

Letting go
“Letting go” means to set someone free. It can be a feeling, an emotion, a thing, or a person. Letting go is an act which can cure many people of their misery. For example, letting go of an ex can be very advantageous to the mental health of a person. Letting go of anger can solve many problems. Letting go of your child, who is now grown up and doesn’t want interference in his life, can make the bond stronger by giving him space. Letting go of your little daughter’s bicycle so that she can learn to ride on her own can teach her to be independent. Thus “letting go” is a phrase which is almost like advice to free someone so that it is good for both sides: the one who is letting go and the one who is being allowed to go.


1.“Giving up” is used for positive as well as negative acts; “letting go” is used mainly for acts where something or someone is allowed to let go for betterment.
2.“Giving up” is used in place of quitting. It is also used for acts of sacrifice. “Letting go” is used for relieving yourself of some emotion or thing. It is used in just one context. Its consequences can be positive or negative, but the intentions are to do something good for all involved.

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