Why You Should Always Take The High Road, Even When You REALLY Want To Be Petty

Why You Should Always Take The High Road, Even When You REALLY Want To Be Petty ©iStock/mauro_grigollo

Sometimes when you have a bad breakup, your immediate response is revenge. This is almost certainly the case when you’ve been dumped, or you were forced to dump someone because they were completely awful to you, but we’ve all experienced the impulse to raise hell after ending a relationship.

The problem with such a need for revenge is that it brings out the worst in us. It makes us obsessive and suddenly our entire lives are revolving around watching the person who broke our heart suffer in ways that you might not even want to say out loud. It happens, we’ve all experienced, and yes, many of us have fallen down the petty rabbit hole and it hasn’t been pretty.

Whether it’s a former flame, a friend who betrayed, or a coworker who stole your number one client, you should always take the high road. Not sure why? Well, I wasn’t sure for a long time either, but here are 10 things I learned about being the grown up when the crap hits the fan.

  1. Revenge is a waste of energy. If you’ve ever plotted the demise of someone who wronged you, then you know just how much energy is wasted on it. You become consumed by it, every conversation is about how you’re going to get back at them, and it even invades your dreams. Do you want to be the obsessive woman who can’t even get through an entire conversation without turning every topic into something you can use to destroy the person who pissed you off? No. Why? Because you’ll drive everyone away even those who love you. Which brings us to…
  2. You just end up humiliating yourself. You really do. Your childish antics, your behavior, and your preoccupation with ultimate destruction of their life just makes you look pathetic. You may not realize it in the moment, but eventually, when you’ve gotten over it, you’ll look back and realize you were a total embarrassment.
  3. You honestly have better things to worry about. You have rent to pay, birthday parties to attend, work responsibilities, and probably a new hot guy to meet on Tinder. You really, if you think about it, have so much else going on in your life, so that’s where your focus should be.
  4. Being the adult actually causes them more grief. You know that saying, “Never let them see you fall?” Well, that applies here. When you manage to hold your act together and not freak out, then you keep them on their toes. It’s as if they’re just waiting for you to explode. It’s almost like a torture method, but without humiliating yourself.
  5. It will make them regret having wronged you. When you’re the victim, but you still play it cool and prove to everyone that you are the good person in all this, the person who did you wrong will actually feel a few pangs of regret that they could have been so awful to someone so wonderful and charming and sweet.
  6. You get to prove you’re better than them. When the word gets out what went down between you and the person who failed you and you’ve managed to stay high and dry on the high road, you’ll feel some amazing satisfaction. They will be the villain in the equation and you will be the innocent person whom they treated horribly.
  7. You’re actually better off in the long run. When someone messes you over, you’re forced to realize that you’re better off without them in the long run. No matter the part they played in your life big or small without them you’re just better off.
  8. You get to avoid the “crazy” label. Bitches be crazy, huh? Well, not you! That’s for damn sure.
  9. From the high road, you get to look down on them. It’s true: From your tower of maturity and adulthood, without a single petty action or word to your name, you get to look down on them for being the jerk. Go ahead; wave to them from you tower in the clouds.
  10. You want to be remembered for walking away like a champ. The best part about taking the high road? Being able to walk way with grace, with your head held high, and being remembered as the woman who, despite all her wicked thoughts, actually came out on top. In taking the high road, you won. Everybody wants to be a winner.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.