We live in a connective world. Where once we found ourselves so easily ensconced in silence, we now have to make an effort to do so. We need to switch our phones off. Shut down our computers. Put technology into a draw just to be alone with ourselves and our world.
I love to be connected to each other so much; whilst I appreciate that at times it can be and feel overwhelming, for the most part, I find it a huge positive of the technological world we find ourselves in.
But what happens when we’re so connected to each other than we can’t ever truly leave someone behind? What happens when someone says hurtful things to you and you no longer want them in your life but can’t escape them due to the connective world we live in?
Do we defend ourselves and fight or walk away?
Our instinct in life is to fight. To defend our honour, our homes and our loved ones. To stand up for ourselves and let others know that we can’t be beaten. Walking away is seen as cowardly. That we don’t have the energy or desire to fight because we know that we’ll lose.
But what’s better?
To ‘go down’ fighting or to walk away with your head held high thinking of all the things you wish you had said?
I’m not sure there’s ever a clear answer and both ways can hurt immensely so I discovered recently.
At what point do we stop fighting for our principles and morality and walk away? When does it become less about standing your ground and more about saving face?
I had a situation a few years when work caused my breakdown. They unjustly tried to discipline/fire me and I spent 10 months fighting for my name more than my job. Many people told me to quit but I was fighting for my principles and though it very almost cost me my life and sanity and I am still left with some PTSD because of it, I know that for me, fighting was worth it.
And I wonder if that’s the tipping point?
Deciding how important the issue is we are fighting about?
My job and the reputation attached to it felt extremely important to fight over.
It’s incredibly hard to be the ‘better person’ in an argument. Hard not to throw back personal insults when you are receiving so many yourself. Hard to not reduce yourself to the level of the person attacking you. Because it’s cathartic isn’t it?! You are running on adrenaline and anger and you want to hurt that person equally as they have hurt or upset you. Want to hit them where it hurts and tell them they’re fat or that they’re boring and that’s why their husband cheated on them.
You don’t want that person to have that last word.
But at what cost do we fight? Until we are disappointed in ourselves for our words and actions? Until OTHERS are disappointed in us? At what point do we tell ourselves that we need to walk away?
Honestly, I don’t have the answer. We each have to work out how much we value ourselves, our sanity, our energy to fight for things we believe in. It’s a highly personal decision. What some are prepared to fight for; others are prepared to walk away from. Neither decision is right or wrong but comes from our life experiences and how we feel about that person or situation called into question.
As much as I dislike confrontation and will avoid it at high cost, I also dislike people getting the better of me; unfortunately, a trait given to me by my father. My mother, however, is very much about taking the higher road and ignoring ‘haters’ but I’ll admit that my Italian temperament isn’t as angelic as hers as much as I wish it were.
However, I walked away from this fight and though, at the time, I wanted nothing more than to return as many cruel words as I received, now that time has passed, I’m glad I didn’t because it really would have been beneath me and I would have felt ashamed of my actions.
It’s an inherently personal thing to decide what we fight for in life and what we walk away from but knowing your personal self-worth has a lot to do with it. I’m simply thankful I know mine.