How many times have you heard someone tell you to “be the bigger person” or “just ignore it” when someone does or says something bad to you? I’ve told my own daughter several times to do this. This may be a good advice, but sometimes it just gets hard. When being the bigger person just gets old, what do you do? If there is someone in your life who is a constant source of negativity, at some point you are going to break. Nobody is perfect. Nobody can take the high road 100% of the time.
If you have someone in your life who is a toxic person, all you can do is be the bigger person and do what you can not to let them bring you down. Easier said than done, right? Believe me, this takes extraordinary patience and determination on your part. Those kind of people know exactly how to push your buttons. Practicing self-restraint and controlling your reaction is difficult, but worthwhile if you can manage.
What it means to be the bigger person
When you react to someone or something calmly, appropriately, and in a civil manner you are taking the power away from that negative person. Their whole motive for doing what they do is to get a reaction out of you. If you give them what they want, the won. Don’t give those people power over you. Be strong and stick to your morals and values.
When you are able to react calmly, you let the toxic person’s true colors show. It lets others see that person for who they are, and it shows others how you are the better person. If you engage in name calling, accusations, or arguments with the person you are bringing yourself down to their level. Again, it is extremely difficult not to react out of anger or frustration. If possible, try as hard as you can to remain calm and think about your reactions before engaging.
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“Should you ever find yourself the victim of other peoples bitterness, smallness, or insecurities, remember things could be worse…you could be them.”
Tired of being the bigger person all the time? I am! Here are some tips to try and help.
- Vent to someone (after the fact). After your interaction with the negative person, find someone you trust and just let it all out. Tell that person everything–frustrations, what you wish you could have said or done to that person, what that person said or did. Let it go!
- Cry. Sometimes we just need a good cry. I have had a horrible last couple of days because of my “toxic person”. Today after an uncomfortable interaction, I walked away, sat in my car, and just cried. Even though I felt horrible in the moment, afterwards I actually felt better as if a weight was lifted from my shoulders. Find a quiet place where you can be by yourself and just let it out. Trust me, you’ll feel better afterwards.
- Reward yourself for being the bigger person. There is nothing easy about biting your tongue when you want to just unleash your feelings on someone. If you are able to stay calm in a heated situation, you deserve a reward. Go get a pedicure, a new outfit, or a glass of wine. Treat yourself. You not only deserve it, you should feel proud.
- Write it down. Keep a journal or some form of notes that you can refer back to. When things get hard go back and reread all that you have been through and done. Sometimes we forget about the work that we have put in and how far we have come. Write down what you did in the moment, good or bad. Write about how the person made you feel and about how you felt afterward. This not only helps you get your feelings out, it can serve as a reminder of just how strong you are.
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“Live in such a way that if anyone should speak badly of you, no one would believe it.”
Now, we can’t possibly be the bigger person all the time. Every once in awhile, you might slip up and engage in the other person’s negativity. If that happens, just try to stay calm and don’t be too hard on yourself. Every once in awhile you might just need to let that person know what you really think. If that is the case, be prepared for the repercussions and decided whether or not its worth it. Hey, it might feel really good to be honest and not hold back. Do be aware that if you do engage, you are opening yourself up to a bigger problem.
So, what I hope you take away from this post: Being the bigger person is very difficult. Don’t be upset if you slip up. Be proud and reward yourself for being the bigger person. You can do it.