Life gets tough. Wifi connections can be weak, your coffee can spill, your tests can be bombed – and then on top of that you have certain people who don’t make those bad days any better. The ones that you could really just smack in the face…but you know you never could or would. The ones that seem to unnecessarily intervene to find a way in your life. And when those people come around and they stoop low, there is nothing harder than walking away and not reacting. Because you’re trying to be the bigger person.
Recently, I have encountered just how hard it can be to be the bigger person. What exactly is being the bigger person? Being the bigger person is not about being self righteous, it is not about having more pride, and it is not mastering how to swallow your feelings. Being the bigger person is being the person who sticks to their values and their morals, despite those who have made very valiant efforts to bring them down.
It took me a long time to actually find out how to be the bigger person. In the past, I would simply subtweet some song lyrics – because at least I wasn’t bitching at them. Or I would just gossip about the other individual and claim how “I’m just better and won’t stoop to their level” – meanwhile that is EXACTLY what I was doing. I was just being more passive aggressive about it. (And I’m not going to lie, sometimes I find myself still doing those things here and there).
I have now discovered that what you should do is simple: focus on yourself. When somebody attacks your character, you can only do one thing. Remember who you are. And keep being that person. You, and you alone, know very well what you are and what you are not.
You are a product of your life’s encounters and experiences. You are the reactions you have to those encounters and experiences. You are a reflection of the people you choose to surround yourself. You are the values you stand for.
So who am I?
I am somebody who believes in working hard to excel, supports equality and self expression, and tries to practice gratitude. I believe in self exploration and constantly striving to be a better person than you were yesterday. I’m somebody who makes mistakes quite a bit. Sometimes I can be selfish and immature. Sometimes I am too quick to react.
But I know that I am not somebody who believes in doing any of those things to harm or belittle a person.
You are not another person’s opinion. You are not the mistakes you made – you are the lessons learned from them.
I am very grateful to be surrounded by people who have taught me this lesson in the past year. It was arguably one of the more emotionally draining years I have had. I am grateful for the friends, role models, and writers who have made this message clear to me.
When somebody challenges who you are – take the time to sit and remind yourself of those things. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to vent in a healthy manner to those close to you. And it’s understandable to have temptations to react.
Remember what you value. Remember who are and who you want to be – and keep focusing on the steps you need to take to get there. Those who chose to not do this and instead exasperate efforts on challenging others in a negative way will be far behind soon enough.