Resisting the urge to be petty is something I’ve found myself struggling with every now and then. Naturally, when someone insults me, trolls me, or has been rude and nasty towards me, my first instinct has been to observe and identify their weak spots and insecurities, think about all the ways I can make them feel as bad as they made me feel, clap back, and then carry on with my life. I’ve fantasized about how petty I could be when I’ve silently endured a childish or condescending comment or read a bad review or felt snubbed, and I’ve wondered just how far I could go if I could only be as petty as the person on the opposite end of an insult aimed directly my way. But now, before I make any sudden moves, I calm myself and question, is this person or situation really worth it? And the answer is usually no.
When someone is unkind to you or being petty, I imagine you might be upset. Perhaps offended and ready to push back. But what if you simply chose to ignore those who try to get under your skin and keep it moving? What if you resisted the urge to be petty? And how might things change for you if and when you do? I know being the bigger person in petty situations can totally suck sometimes, but at least you can walk away knowing you didn’t lower yourself to respond to someone or something beneath you. I can recall different times when I stooped to someone else’s level who was petty, and while my responding with a snippy comment or throwing some shade may have felt good at the moment, I later felt awful inside. Like the world’s biggest jerk who needed to think about my actions. Because deep down, I know being petty is not what I’m about. I know better than that, and I know I can be better than that too. And so can you.
Being petty might feel good for a moment, make you feel like you’re above someone else and that you’ve proved your point. But here’s the thing about being petty: it’s immature and a complete waste of your time. And wasting your time is not something I imagine you’re interested in doing. Petty behavior gets a lot of attention these days because unfortunately, there’s always an audience for stupidity and negativity, but I hope you choose not to be an active participant. I hope you decide to be mature and be the bigger person – even if and when you don’t feel like it. Because being petty is not a good look for anyone. You’re far too smart and chill to behave that way. And you definitely don’t have time to respond to the lesser things. Understand that petty people can only get a rise out of you if you allow them to, and you don’t have to play their games. Not unless you want all that drama in your life.
I know it won’t always be easy to choose not to respond, but you can do this. You can resist the urge to be as trivial as the ones who have tried coming at you sideways. I know the comments, little digs intended to be hurtful, and reckless words that are thrown your way might piss you off and stir you up sometimes, but no matter what, you can choose to control the way you respond to those things. Sometimes people who choose to be petty don’t have anything else better to do than be small. They like the attention they get from being a negative person. They feel good about putting others down and think their pettiness makes them look cool, but it doesn’t. Eventually, their behavior will catch up with them, and maybe one day they’ll wake up. But until then, choose not to become a petty person. After all, being petty is easy. Taking the high road takes work. The choice is always yours. And I hope you choose to do the right thing.