Taking the high road

How many moments a week, or even in a day sometimes, does someone or something make you want to explode and run out of the room screaming? Depending on where you work or who you live with, this could be more often than you’d like, or you could be lucky and those moments are rare.

Someone says something harsh, tries to accuse you of something, or you can’t get your idea across. Someone keeps making stupid mistakes and not learning from them. Someone doesn’t appreciate you for what you do or who you are.

We have options.

We can yell back, snap back, explode and scream, vent to everyone around us, and become grouchy for the rest of the day. And sometimes, we need to do that. It’s the easy way out, the best feeling route in the moment, the reaction you feel the most oomph out of to get past it.

But we have options. A trusted friend or coworker tells you to “take the high road.” High road, shmigh road, you might say at first. Why me? Why do I have to be the one to ignore it, smile and move on?

Uphill, at that

And then you think about it. You think about how annoying it is that something someone else is doing or isn’t doing is eating away at you and

there’s nothing, absolutely nothing you can do about it anyway. You think about how it’s taking up your time, energy, and emotions, and maybe making you appear like the bad guy to everyone around you because it’s affecting you so much.

We have options. The high road is usually the least favored, the most scorned, the “but it’s not my fault” choice. And it’s in our nature to win, to be the right one, to say, “This is your fault.” But the high road, in the end, also makes us the winners, the right ones, the one that says, the only thing I can control is how I respond to this.

And eventually, you’ll come out on top, whether it seems that way at first or not. Taking the high road is a learning process, at the office, with your friends and family, and on an individual level. It may not always be easy, and it usually isn’t labeled as the “quick route” on the GPS. But along the way, you’ll see a lot more, learn a lot more, and feel a lot happier.

If you had to choose between a road with bumps, potholes, and cracks versus one that was smooth and scenic to get to your destination, wouldn’t you choose the latter?


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