It takes an array of different qualities to be the "bigger person", someone that lives with dignity. It's not always easy to do or feel the way that we know we're supposed to, it can take a fair amount of courage, inner-wisdom and requires us to take the wheel of our emotions that can sometimes overwhelm us. Without further-ado, here are 7 simple steps to becoming the bigger person you know you want to be.
1. Be Happy for Others
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sometimes it's easy to feel like people are getting ahead of you, doing better than you, and living life more fully than you are. This is all an illusion though. It is impossible to replicate the successes and the exact experiences of another. So whatever aspect of life your friends, family and acquaintances are thriving in, support them. Let their happiness be your happiness.
2. Admit you're wrong even if you're not
Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something
~ Morihei Ueshiba
This is something, myself included, tend to struggle with a lot. This is since we, being the humans that we are, have a tendency to feel as though we're always in the right. But sometimes we just have to let go of our pride, recognise where we went wrong, and make some changes.
3. Praise others without expecting any in return
Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything
~ Katherine Hapburn
Everyone wants compliments, praise and attention. But the second we begin to give these out, just to get the same in return, it becomes business, rather than kindness. Do we really want our friendships, our bonds, to be based on selfishness, or sincerity? Sustain loving, non-superficial relationships, by praising the people around you simply because you care about them.
4. Agree to disagree
So each one of you agrees to disagree with whatever the other one agrees with, but if you both disagree with the same thing, aren't you really in agreement?
~ Norton Juster
If you and someone else have completely different opinions on a topic, don't let this spark a heated debate or allow it to be a reason for you to fall out. Being the bigger person, or in this instance, someone of wisdom and discernment, means acknowledging that not everyone is going to think in the same way that you do. Accept their differences and peacefully move on.
5. Don't hold grudges
Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.
~ Criss Jami
Very few of us go through life without getting hurt. The only way we can move on from these instances though, is by forgiving those that have wronged us, turning our backs, and positively strolling forward.
6. Don't take criticism personally
“Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you.”
~ Hillary Rodham Clinton
Whether it's your work, personality or relationships that are being criticised by someone you know or do not know, try not to take this to heart. Rather than taking offence by a comment, see it as an opportunity for growth, for self-development. Use it to make you a better person, even if you don't see the flaw someone else see's.
7. Walk Away From Conflict
There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who do not. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.
~ Jose N. Harris
If someone has ill-intent for your life and wants to stir up trouble, give that person some distance. One of the worst things you can do which will take your life in a negative direction, is be in the company of negative people. Self-love and awareness means walking away from people that you know are not good for you.