Saturday, February 05, 2011

Taking the High Road

I'm a big believer in trying to always take the high road.  I wasn't always that way, it's a lesson I've learned over the years.  That doesn't mean I'm always successful with it, but I try.  I think sometimes I annoy my husband when I say "take the high road".  I feel better about myself when I am successful with taking the high road during a disagreement or other bump in life.  I was in a situation not long ago where I tried it - and failed.  It was the day after the blizzard that hit here - the post Christmas blizzard.  I was headed into work on roads that were still very much snow covered.  On one road near my home, there was a couple walking their dog in the middle of the road.  Not the side, but smack dab in the middle.  So, I gave a quick toot on my horn to alert them to my presence - and as should have been clear, to ask them to move to the side to let me pass.  The female part of the couple immediately moved to the side.  The male partner turned around and gave me a nasty look.  As I pulled up alongside, I rolled down my window and said "I was just trying to let you know I was there."  To keep a short story shorter, he wasn't appreciative of my gesture.  He didn't say anything offensive, but was clearly an asshole.  As I pulled away and rolled up my window, I said "You're an asshole."  Well - as soon as I said it, there were too assholes in the situation, him and me.  I immediately regretted it.  I had given up the high road and put myself down in the gutter with him. 
I will continue to try and take the high road.  It's not always easy - as proven.  Sometimes you just want to yell and scream "because you're a bitch, that's why" but it's really best not to do that.  In all likelihood, saying something like that is not going to result in the bitch having a moment of self-realization and saying "Oh my God, you are right.  I am a bitch.  I am so sorry."  Really - not happening.  She's just going to thinking that you are the bitch, and furthermore, telling all her friends what a bitch you are.
Some people may think that taking the high road is a cop out.  Maybe sometimes it is.  I guess we all have to decide which is the best way to handle a situation.  Fight or fold?  Hmmm - another good topic!  Anyway - cop or or not, sometimes it may be the best way for someone to handle things. 
One reason I learned to try to take the high road is that it leaves less room for people to criticize you.  That doesn't mean no one will.  Such as by saying it's a cop out.  But, that's them.  Those people will criticize you no matter what.  It can be incredibly frustrating.  I know.  That happened to me recently too.  But I decided to let that one roll off my back.  I took the source into account and just decided to let it be and stay on the high road.

1 comment:

Erin said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I too try to take the high road whenever possible. I also try to (and sometimes fail) stick with "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." It has served me well.