Arguments can be pretty exhausting especially if you’re always getting dragged into one and you don’t know how to get out of it. One of the most common bits of advice that the people around us would say whenever that happens is to be the “bigger person.” The way they say it makes it sound like it’s an easy thing to do, but it’s actually not.
Being the bigger person means you’re the one who will put an end to the fight even if you don’t really feel like it. It means you’re going to have to be that person who will let it all go for the sake of peace and maturity, even if it makes you feel small and defeated.
Doing it may be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Thankfully, being the bigger person is something that you can learn. And when you’re able to master the art of it, you will surely have a peaceful and relaxing life.
One of the things that can help you become the bigger person is the ability to stay calm. You can take a deep breath and count mentally to a certain number when things start to get overwhelming. Lisa Firestone, PhD, wrote, “Whatever your technique for getting back to yourself with the higher functions of your brain online, perhaps taking a walk or listening to music, find a way to get centered in yourself before you respond.”
This will become a coping mechanism whenever you get into a fight with someone. It can help ease your mind and stop you from doing or saying things that you will regret later on. This will also distract your mind and help you stay on the right track.
Acknowledge that you’re NOT Always Right
It’s okay to defend your beliefs and thoughts especially if someone comes and tries to invalidate them. However, it is also important to check yourself and think about the possibility that maybe, just maybe, you are wrong.
Pat Ladouceur, PhD, states that saying “You may be right” in an argument “works because it shows willingness to compromise. This signal is enough to soften most people’s position, and allow them to take a step back as well.” Always evaluate the situation and understand you make mistakes as well and that you need to give apologies sometimes, not just receive them.
Monitor Your Anger
Anger is definitely one of the biggest things that can stop an individual from becoming the bigger person in an argument. Joseph Goldberg, MD, says, “When you start feeling angry, try deep breathing, positive self-talk, or stopping your angry thoughts. Slowly repeat a calm word or phrase such as “relax” or “take it easy.” Repeat it to yourself while breathing deeply until the anger subsides.”
Sure, you want to hold your ground and make a point, but at what cost? Not being able to keep your anger in check Don’t let your emotions get you over the edge because things will inevitably go downhill from there.
Being the bigger person is absolutely difficult especially if what you are fighting for is something that you firmly believe in. You will be told to swallow your pride, apologize first, and understand the other party no matter how wrong you think they are. It may sometimes feel unfair but it’s all going to be worth it. And always keep in mind that it’s better to be kind than to be right.