Everyone has been petty at least once in their life. I’m sure of this. It may have been something simple or something really messed-up. Nonetheless, I’m sure if you’re reading this you have been petty before. It’s easy, really. When someone makes you feel small and all you want to do is return the favor, it’s easy to have that urge. The difficulty is in resisting the urge to be petty. When you’re upset enough that you want to do something mildly or not mildly ridiculous, it’s difficult to stop yourself. Everyone has had to have been petty because it’s human nature to seek revenge.
The thing is, I haven’t even thought to be petty as much as I used to. After going through so much in the last two years, I don’t really want to hurt people. Well, obviously a lot of people don’t want to hurt people. You probably don’t want to hurt people. Generally, that’s something we all avoid. But what I mean to say is that I don’t want to be petty. If I have a problem with someone, I want to be direct about it.
Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes unknowingly act petty. But the number of times I have really wanted to ruin someone’s day has decreased significantly. When I’m driving and some asshole cuts me off, I don’t let it get to me as much. Sure, it’s frustrating. But I’m not going to imagine running them off the road like I used to wish I could. I guess I have just realized how much shit can happen to one person in such a short amount of time. Maybe the person who cut me off has a lot going on and cutting me off made them feel like they had some control. That’s what I imagine now.
My advice? When you’re upset with someone, try to see their point of view. It’s difficult sometimes. Empathy isn’t supposed to be easy. If it were easy, we’d all be the same. But we’re not the same. Every person in the world is different than anyone else. Each experience someone has is different than any of yours. We all have a different way of looking at our surroundings and interpreting what happens. Empathy isn’t knowing for sure, it’s understanding. Empathy is forgiving a person because you understand how difficult life can be. It is sharing a burden with someone because as much as you’d like to see them fail, you know it’s not the right thing to do. Empathy is caring about yourself enough to treat others how you would want to be treated.
Being petty is easy. If everyone did only what was easy, the world would be more of a mess than it is now. Don’t do what’s easy. Take a deep breath. Try again. Does it look the same? I guarantee it doesn’t. Sometimes your first thought isn’t the best thought. Be patient and wait for your soul to respond. You’ll be happier with yourself if you resist the urge to be petty. You’ll live up to everything you want to live up to if you can look yourself in the mirror. So be kind. Don’t let your jealousy, hurt feelings, or initial judgement get in the way. You are better than pettiness.
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