When You Have to Be the Bigger Person

Adulting, Author: Mary Grace Donaldson

We’ve all been there. When you’ve been angry at someone for an extended period of time. When you’ve been hurt and not able to face the person who hurt you. When you can’t stop being angry and sad, and you’ve presumably stopped speaking to the person in question — romantic interest or through a friendship — to protect your own heart.

But then one day, you get the news that something awful is happening in that person’s life. Maybe it’s illness — their own, or a family member’s. Maybe they’re dealing with a death in their family. Maybe they just got laid off. Maybe they’re going through a breakup or a divorce. But whatever it is, you realize that you haven’t stopped caring for the person.

And it’s time for you to pull yourself together, swallow your pride, and reach out — in spite of your anger and your hurt.

It’s not going to be easy
You may feel scared. Anxious. Nervous. Any number of words for it. If you’re anything like me, you hate the feeling of having to swallow your pride and ignore your own stubborn instinct. But you know that it’s something you have to do, and that if roles were reversed, you’d expect said person to do this for you.

Try not to overthink it
Listen to your gut — as the saying goes, “that bitch knows what’s up.” Don’t waste time thinking too much about what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it.

Just do it
Don’t wait until you’re ready, because you’re never going to be. You have to just go for it.

Don’t bring up what made you angry or sad
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but… remember: this isn’t about you. If there’s a reason down the road to discuss what happened before, take the opportunity. But, that opportunity is not now. This is about them, not you.

Recognize that you’re doing the right thing
The right thing isn’t always easy. Heck, knowing what the right thing is isn’t always easy, forget about actually carrying it out. But once you’ve done the right thing, chances are you’ll feel it in your body. You’ll feel a sense of calming.

Don’t get your hopes up
While you may reconcile with the person in question following your reaching out and in fact doing the right thing, it’s possible that you won’t. And that’s okay. You didn’t reach out at this moment to reconcile. You reached out to be there for someone who’s going through a hard time.

 

No matter what the outcome is, you will be set apart from many of your peers just by being the bigger person. And that’s something that, at the end of the day, you can be proud of.

Letting Go

When You Have to Walk Away

Adulting, Author: Michelle Ioannou

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One thing I’ve learned since entering into this world of adulthood is the importance of knowing when to walk away. This applies to stepping away from your desk at work, putting the phone down before sending that text message, and unfortunately even to friendships and relationships. But one thing’s in common: it’s always much easier said than done.

It’s quite easy when you’re not in a rough situation to think to yourself “psh, I’ll never do that. I’ll just walk away and leave. Not worth my time, not worth my effort.” But then you’re in the situation, and it’s all so different.

How could my boss just send me that email when I’ve worked my ass off for months? How could my boyfriend tell me he’s no longer happy with me and he doesn’t know what he wants after three years? How can the person I thought was my best friend lie to me and treat me like complete crap?

Have you nodded your head yet? Chances are you’ve been in one of the above situations…or one extremely close to it.

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And it’s hard, it really, really is –especially when it’s in terms of a relationship or a friendship. That person has been in your life for a while, and probably has left his or her mark. They were quite possibly a huge part of your life — the person you spoke to the most, thought you could trust with your life, the person who was there for you for everything…or so you thought. All it takes is one thing to happen, and all of that can be gone forever.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge advocate of trying to fix things. But, I’m also a realist. Things get to a point where there’s no fixing — or at least it seems like there’s no fixing, such as when the other person in this situation isn’t trying to work through things. There’s only so much hurt you can experience, and only so much you yourself can do, before you realize you need to just walk away.

Millennials, relationships of all kinds come and go. You see who your true friends are, and unfortunately you see who’s not. Boyfriends and girlfriends break up. You quit jobs. That’s life. But it’s important to know when to walk away — for your own health, for your own sanity, and for your own happiness.

I can only hope that the situation you’re currently in works out and that the other person in the situation with you, whomever that may be, is fighting for you like you’re fighting for him or her. But remember, you matter too. And if that person isn’t treating you right or fighting for you — whether that person be a friend, a significant other, or a boss — you need to do something about it. You need to walk away. You need to be happy.