***THIS POST IS SO CHAOTIC IDK WHAT THE CONCLUSION IS/IF YOU FEEL WHAT I FEEL/IF I MAKE SENSE SO IF YOU HAVE THOUGHTS AND INSIGHT… TALK!***
Close your eyes and imagine this scenario.
Well don’t close them because then you can’t read this but mentally close them.
It’s late one Tuesday night and you’re sitting at home scrolling through Instagram when you see that your high school ex posted this super super long and sweet post about his girlfriend of 676543234 years, saying how amazing she is and how his life would be so much different/worse without her. As much as you want to believe in the goodness of humanity and modern day romance, you have to hold your thumb back. Does this deserve your double tap? Let’s reflect.
Remember when he dated you, broke up with you at homecoming, and then KISSED YOUR ARCH NEMESIS AT THE DANCE THAT NIGHT? And then he kept texting you while they were dating, begging for you back, and you went through mild psychological dilemmas every day, wondering if you should ignore him and be happy or if you should just yo-fuckin-lo and screen shot all of those texts he was sending you and blast them on Twitter @HisNewBoo?
Alas, you decided to take the high road (in contrast to your friends’ suggestions) and let him go on being happy and wonderful with his new lady while you attempted to just live life. You knew that no good would come of it, and it’s better not to dwell on the past. Let him go, maybe karma will get him, you don’t care. Either way, as TSwift once said, one must “shake it off, shake it off, oh oh oh.”
You can mentally open your eyes again.
Whether you’ve just met me or we’ve been friends 5ever, you are usually able to realize fairly quickly that I live (maybe too literally) by the phrase,
“Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.”
From spotting you for that cup of coffee (even though I’m broke) to spotting that stain on your ass and giving you the shirt off my back to cover it while we’re at the club (lol like I wear shirts to the club), I’m almost unhealthy in my beliefs of treating others the way I’d like to be treated. I’m just being dramatic. Or am I. Anyway.
To what extent is that shit worth it? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve experienced a lot of not cool things in life that have led me to act as altruistically as possible (or try to at least!), but there are those days (like today) where I choose to sit down and have some tea with the Devil’s advocate regarding altruism and acts of kindness. And let me tell ya, he brought sandwiches and pastries to this tea party. By the middle of this post, I was stuffing my face with his crappy crumpets and “fuck off” finger sandwiches.
Back to the point,
What behaviors am I talking about though?
To all the friends who are trying to avoid conflict because it’s not worth it,
To all the girls who are trying to portray themselves as being “chill” because their guy friends complain about other girls being “psychos”,
To all the people who are “picking their battles” because they don’t want to fight,
To the exes who were nexted for terrible reasons and kept their mouths shut and their hearts away,
Isn’t it just… tiring?
It’s like… there are just so many people out there who are at the same level as you in life, if not FURTHER, yet you don’t see them being the bigger person, acting maturely, or behaving altruistically all the fucking time. Maybe it’s because you can’t see acts of kindness and humanity as visually as you want to, or maybe it’s because it’s hard to establish what is “good” and “mature”, but for the most part, there are some fucking terrible people who are succeeding in life (I use the word “succeeding” loosely).
You’ve never cheated on anyone, yet you’re single while the guy next to you cheated on his girlfriend and acquired a new one within a few days and she’s the bestest.
You’ve never spilled anyone’s secrets, yet the guy down the hall gossiped to your boss and now they’re besties and he’s getting a promotion.
You’ve always wanted to make everyone feel special and thought it would be a great idea to surprise a friend with a card and cake for her birthday, but your attention crazed friend is holding the cake and is taking all the credit for it.
These things range from small and super petty to …less small and petty, but you keep thinking about it until you find yourself asking more and more questions:
Why are you sacrificing yourself in situations of all scales? What has altruism been doing for you, because your actions are way more altruistic than other’s, yet you’re not at any higher level than the person next to you?
I think I’ve found myself trying to be the “chill” person who lets things go, who accepts apologies for being screwed over, who bows out of fights to avoid conflict rather than sticking up for myself. Is being the “bigger person” worth it? Is it vain to call yourself “the bigger person”? I can’t say I regret these decisions, but I’m feeling gluttonous and filling myself with those “fuck off” finger sandwiches.
I stop stuffing my face and stuff a question into my head — and by “my head”, I mean some of my friends’ heads:
Do you find yourself taking the high road and being the bigger person a lot in life situations?
“I think that calling it a bigger person or the high road sets up a hierarchy on moral standards that puts others down. I would like to think that I act in ways that have me be a big person who stands and acts for others. I think that it’s important to be a big person for others and not expecting anything in return, as there is no one’s responsibility for anything other than your own.” – JL
“Yes I try to be because it sucks to make other people feel shitty.” – EZ
“Yeah, I guess you can say I do. Only because I feel that you strengthen yourself emotionally, mentally, and spiritually if you do it more often, but for good reason. If you are like “completely in the right”, I feel there is no need to.” – PN
“I guess it depends on the situation. If I’m being completely disrespected, then no I will verbally stand up for myself and sometimes that is shown as being childish (which I think is absurd). People think taking the high road is just absorbing people’s bullshit and idk how that is healthy… but I will do that sometimes, depending on who’s doing the bullshitting.” – HC
“Not as much as I’d like to. Disclaimer though: I don’t believe in a “high road” or “bigger person.” Those are euphemisms for someone’s pretentiousness disguised as a moral high ground. Taking the high road means not giving a shit, doing you, and squashing the beef. With that said, no I don’t use that road as much as I’d like. I am a slave to my emotions, prone to amounts of vulnerable butt-hurt. I give too many shits, when I really should be saving them for only the most important things.” – FLR
Oddly enough, asking your friends questions on their personal values is surprisingly… soothing for the soul. When you get organic and candid responses from your friends (literally I shoot random people FB messages in the afternoon and demand instant responses), you kind of remember why you act the way you do, why you strive to be a better person each day. The people who are close to you and surrounding you with good vibes are the ones to keep track of, not the ones that are making you question your behaviors.
You need people in your life who keep it real, not people who really keep you from feeling good about yourself.
So is “being the bigger person” worth it? I think so. I think striving to not be a fucking asshole is worth it because it not only benefits you but it also creates a positive environment for all of the people around you, the people you actually care about.
Thank you, friends, who remind me put the “all true” in altruistic (that wordplay works out loud I promise).
There may be times where you find yourself getting walked all over and you will wonder when and how you turned into a doormat. You don’t want to tell people you feel unappreciated and foolish, because that’s lame — altruism shouldn’t need acknowledgement! So for whatever you’re going through and whatever you’re doing, THIS POST IS ACKNOWLEDGING YOU AND YOUR ACTIONS, OKAY? I KNOW YOU DON’T CARE, BUT KEEP ON DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING.
Every once in a while, you’ll just want to explode and wonder why you’re doing what you’re doing. Just take a deep breath and let it out, either in a blog (like me hah) or to a real person or whatever. Your friends will surprise you with wisdom and a good ear/eye (because maybe it’s a text/blog post idk).
And don’t be afraid of that one douche who will say, “Coooooooool you’re a good person. Do you want a fucking cookie?”
They don’t know your personal battles. They don’t know the efforts you’re putting forth. Yolo bro. HERE’S YOUR COOKIE.
That tea party was fucking rough. Yelp rate 3 stars for good insight but terrible ambiance.