It takes a tremendous amount of patience and discipline to not respond in kind to something or someone that has caused you pain. But the discipline you acquire every time you willfully choose to be peaceful and respectful will benefit you in the future when faced with a similar situation. Discipline will help you to critically think about your conflict and emotions surrounding the conflict.
"Why am I so upset by this?"
"Why did this person treat me this way?"
"What is the best possible way to handle this?"
The above are just some of the questions you'll teach yourself how to ask and you will be a better person because of it.
You regain so much power over a situation when you take the high road. It may sound contradicting but responding with respect instead of vitriol takes power away from the attacking person and shows them that they need to rethink the way they treat others. Sure they may continue to attack you in some way shape or form (which is NOT ok by any means) but you can take solace in knowing that you have power and control over yourself & your peace of mind knowing how you reacted. Which in turn will probably drive the other person nuts knowing that you're unbothered and refuse to stoop to their level.
The most important aspect in all of this has to be peace. When you take the high road, you really are at peace. You can move peacefully throughout your day because you don't have to worry about retaliation or karma coming to get you because of a negative response. Your peace of mind allows you to see that the other person is human and that their unpleasant responses are because they are hurt or fearful. Your peace of mind frees you from anger and helps you to process how to handle whatever negativity is thrown at you with a clear mind; free from the grips of rash and damaging decisions clouded by anger.
With all that said, the only way to achieve the results of taking the high road is to make a conscious effort to do so every time the opportunity presents itself. You must be deliberate and consistent; choosing to take the high road every time. When you do so you increase your discipline, power, and peace over yourself and the situation. It may be challenging but it's sure as hell worth it.
This topic of the week was written and presented by Alanna Gardner, MFT.