As we get better at understanding and processing our emotions, we also begin to realize that sometimes we need to say something to another person about how they made us feel, and sometimes we choose not to. Sometimes, the choice to take the high road is the one that presents to us as the healthier option. Here are some general guidelines as to when to take the high road:
- if your attempt to communicate is falling on deaf ears. If repeated attempts are not working, perhaps denial has gotten in the way. Dealing with a person who tends to be inflexible in their thinking will often produce the same result as they are not open to hearing it.
- it isn’t the right time. Sometimes a moment calls for an open conversation and sometimes the timing is off. ‘Sleeping on it’ is always a good rule of thumb in creating enough space for processing.
- it will only lead to conflict. If we know that someone is defensive or conflict driven, sometimes it isn’t worth the time or energy for the debate.
- it just doesn’t feel right. When we take the time to reflect on how we are feeling; when we examine the what if’s about speaking up or taking the high road, our instincts will usually guide us in making the decision.
The important piece when taking the high road is to remain committed to processing the emotion surrounding the upset. Perhaps you have brought it to therapy, talked with a trusted friend, taken a long walk to mull it over. When we choose to take the high road it usually comes with a feeling of peace; choosing grace to build upon itself. And when it just doesn’t feel right to take the high road, that is when we pluck up our courage to say something – rewarding the effort and not the outcome, reminding ourselves that we are important too. 🙂
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