Being a doormat is no fun, and there’s something quite attractive about people who stand up for themselves. So if you’re ever going to have the semblance of an independent life, you must grow a spine and stop being a pushover.
Those are known facts, but what happens when making progress requires that we yield to an ego that’s at war with ours and take the high road?
Yielding is an uncomfortable demand that life places on us from time to time, maybe to help us grow or maybe just because life requires different things at different times.
Either way, it’s annoying as hell.
If you’ve ever had to capitulate to someone you know is utterly wrong or obliged an irrational request when every cell in your body would rather fight it out, you know what I’m talking about.
I’d rather not.
We’d rather not.
But it gets easier if you want it to.
I’ll tell you how I’m practising.
1. I forget myself.
Quite literally, yes.
Taking the high road isn’t about you or your ego, it’s about your mission: where you’re trying to get to, what you’re trying to achieve. Try not to get emotional about it. When you take your feelings out of that equation, it’s easier to not feel slighted or bruised (for long).
2. I never forget that yielding is momentary.
You’re doing it for a worthwhile reason, not spreading yourself on the ground for people to walk all over you. Backing down today won’t turn you into tomorrow’s doormat. That will only happen if you choose not to stand up for yourself in the future – it’s always a choice.
3. I keep moving.
When the other person has had their way, move on from the situation as quickly and as deliberately as you can so you don’t feel the urge to get off the high road and go low.
Moving forward is the point, isn’t it? So, move.
Don’t revisit the incident. Sidestep it if it comes up in any future conversation. Laugh and change the subject.
People tend to gloat when they think they’ve won. Make it a point not to indulge them.
Remember why you’re yielding and keep your eyes on that big picture. Your ego will be fine.