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Have you ever heard the phrase “hurt” people hurt people? I didn’t until I was listening to Aba and Preach discuss this on their videos on YouTube. After hearing this, it made me examine the way I interact with people when I am upset. If I have to be completely honest with you all, there are times that I can be PETTY.
An example of this involves me being petty with my wife. Long story short, I ordered myself a whole meal for delivery along with my daughter and I ordered my wife a diet coke. Disclaimer: she DESPISES diet drinks.
In this instance, I wanted to make my wife feel what I felt in that moment. While we can laugh about it now, I realize that behavior is toxic and not productive towards having a healthy relationship. We both recognize that I was not in the wrong for being upset but my reaction was wrong. It was a spiteful reaction that shouldn’t happen.
I will admit, it feels great to get even with someone by being petty. Whether it is a coworker, a partner, or some stranger that cut you off, it feels good to inflict some type of “justice” upon those people because they “deserve” it.
While it is exhilarating to do this there is one question I will ask you. How will being petty strengthen your relationship with that person? If you cannot find a good answer to that question then you probably shouldn’t be petty if you care about that person. Having a healthy relationship with others should be the goal. My goal for next year is to stop being betty and have better reactions. Here are some strategies that I will be using to help me achieve this goal.
Identify Your Triggers
Above all, you will need to make note of your triggers that brings you to the point of being petty. This doesn’t have to be a formal list but please take time to examine what causes you to feel hurt. Doing this will give you a higher chance of a better outcome during those instances.
Utilize Coping Strategies
In the moment you start to feel your blood boil, this might be a good time to go take a break. Use your coping skills. Instead of seeking revenge, focus your energy on improving your mood, mind, and body so that you are at peace. Putting your energy back into the feelings you possess is only going to motivate you to stay hurt and not move past what happened. If you need some help with finding healthy coping skills, check this post out here.
You can also really dive DEEP with creating a self-care plan by checking out the Supportive Father’s self-care course and 30-Day challenge. These offerings will provide comprehensive self-care tips, enable you to reflect, journal, and apply what you learn to your life.
Communicate Your Feelings
I will highlight the importance of communicating your feelings with the person who upset you. It is okay to feel hurt or upset and recognize what happened to cause those feelings. Your reaction is critical in how you communicate to the person that created the situation. Instead of being petty, utilize healthy communication strategies such as “I” statements. Keep the focus on what you would like to see happen moving forward so that the situation can be avoided.
If you find yourself at a point that you cannot move past the situation and communicate in a healthy manner, seek some outside help to mediate the situation. In other words, find a therapist or counselor to help with your situation.
Ideally, this person will act as a neutral party and give both people healthy communication strategies to move past conflict. During your therapy session, it is important to be honest about times you are petty so that you can recognize unhealthy coping strategies.
However, if the person involved opts to not go to therapy then it doesn’t resolve you of the responsibility either. Your therapist will likely work with you on your reactions and how to communicate better.
Avoid Putting Your Business on Social Media
One of the most passive aggressive things I see people do is sharing their conflicts on social media. Instead of talking to the person directly, people will rely on the court of public opinion to help remedy the situation. This is the LAST thing I will suggest anyone do. People will tend to be bias in the situation and support their friend or loved one even if that person is in the wrong. Also, many posts are skewed to put the person who is sharing their post in a positive light even if they are in the wrong.
In my opinion, this is a recipe for disaster. There is ZERO benefit in putting a conflict with a friend, family member, or loved one on social media. It is not productive, toxic, and will only create a further divide between the conflicted parties. As petty as I can be, that is one boundary I will not cross with anyone.
To sum up this post, it is important to realize that being petty isn’t productive. It only creates a wedge between us and the person who hurt us. I mentioned before that it is okay to feel hurt by someone else. However, when you are feeling hurt, try to find ways that can help calm you down while effectively communicating with the other person. Being vindictive will not help you move past the situation.
Outside of the strategies listed, what helps you move forward after being hurt or let down by someone else? Please comment down below.
Cameron is the creator of Supportive Fathers. He created Supportive Fathers as a way to help explore topics other dads encounter in everyday life. Cameron is very passionate about being a father to 2 year old daughter as well as being the husband possible to his wife. To read more of his story, please click here.