Wednesday, April 16, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Take my word for it: Be the bigger man

There are many challenges in life, but one of the biggest I’ve encountered is learning to be the bigger man. This is a challenge that is ongoing, and constantly evolving with every relationship I’ve chosen to keep.

It’s a difficult endeavor because in the simplest of terms, it means accepting humility. What I’ve realized is that any time my goal in a conversation or action is to be “right,” I’m not the bigger man. In fact, it can often make me act really small, and make everyone involved feel really small. I may “win” an argument with these tactics, but no one is really a winner in the end here. I often end up feeling guilty, the person I “defeated” feels embarrassed, and our relationship usually isn’t stronger because of it.

Alternatively, when I’ve been the bigger man, things have turned out surprisingly well. It’s not that I bow my head like a whipped dog and slink away. It’s that I do what I believe is right in the argument or situation, and accept responsibility for my actions, while not overreacting at the actions of others. I’ve found this brings me peace I could not have found with a goal of being right, and prevents my “opponent” from holding ill feelings towards me. We all win in that scenario.

So how does one accomplish this? That’s a question to this day I cannot consistently answer. It’s more than backing off in an argument. When we’re talking about life situations, there’s a lot more on the line than proving who did the dishes last. If no one chooses to be the bigger man, or woman, relationships could be ruined, as ties may be severed altogether if two parties reach an impasse.

When people’s feelings are involved, there’s a certain sense of delicacy that must be approached. Some figure, “If I’m right, I’m going to stand my ground until everyone involved sees that I’m right.” But if the same scenario is approached with delicacy, a much more amicable result may follow. I’m trying to instead approach it as, “I’m going to make my emotions clear so they understand what I’m feeling, then hope they do the right thing as I back off and do the same.” And if they don’t, at least I can feel good knowing I did my part.

Imagine being able to feel like you got your point across without it being a battle. Sure, this may end with an “agree to disagree” result, but I’d even take that over being “right” if it means we were respectful and could move forward together.

Pride can be a relationship killer. That’s been the hardest thing for me to let go. Appearances have been far too important in the past. “Well if I don’t prove my point here, I’m going to look weak … If I don’t stand my ground, they are going to think I’m a pushover … There’s no way I’m letting them believe I won’t fight for what I believe.” This is the devil on my shoulder talking, and it’s often pointless. Pride can be poison. There are times when pride is important. We tend to believe those times come whenever we are challenged. This is not the case.

The next time you’re in the midst of a “battle,” ask yourself this: “Will me winning this battle make things better?” If the answer is no, find a way to let things go. It’s not worth the stress and anger that is going to follow. If the answer is yes, ask yourself a follow-up question: “Are the things that will get better worth losing the person I’m battling?” If you can answer yes to both, there’s a good chance you never valued the relationship in the first place, and there was no point even starting the conversation or action that turned into a battle.

The basic premise is simple: Display respect and hope it is returned. When it comes to implementation of it, though, it is rarely that easy. One or both parties will usually feel disrespected in a battle. It is here where I’m hoping I can make a stand, not to demand respect with anger, but to earn it by being the bigger man. I want to start a domino effect that trickles down to everyone around me. As a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a relative, a friend and a decent human being, I feel this is my job. I’m hoping it catches on.

I’m not pretending to have this thing mastered. I’m a student here, and although it’s a struggle, I’m going to strive to be the bigger man when opportunity arises. Anyone I’ve chosen to be a part of my life deserves that from me, and I’m hoping by showing them this, they realize that I deserve that from them too.

Patrick Ibarra is the managing editor of the Mountain Democrat. 

Patrick Ibarra

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

.

News

Greenwood School being restored

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Cal Fire increasing staffing, hiring

By Cal Fire | From Page: B1

EID restricts watering days

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A1, 10 Comments

 
Lover’s Leap fall injures man

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A1

EDH Fire Dept. annexing Latrobe

By Noel Stack | From Page: A1, 7 Comments

 
Motorcycle fatality in Greenwood

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

 
Tea Party meeting April 17

By Tea Party Patriots Of El Dorado Hills | From Page: A3, 46 Comments

 
Town Hall Meeting on Underage Drinking May 1

By El Dorado Hills Community Vision Coalition | From Page: A6

Floating body not a body

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A7

 
Old mill a goner

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A11, 12 Comments | Gallery

.

Letters

A great big thanks

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Murder? Suicide?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 7 Comments

‘Drive Clean’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
Middle class getting poorer?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 48 Comments

Real estate lies

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 13 Comments

 
.

Sports

Outside with Charlie: Switch gear

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A8

 
Ponderosa volleyball is a family affair

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Aussie team makes visit

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A8

 
Griz have challenging day

By Mike Bush | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Roundup: April 15, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Prospecting

At a glance: Take aim on fun

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

 
Men to walk a mile in her shoes

By Center For Violence-Free Relationships | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Runners stampede for Sugarloaf scholarships

By El Dorado County Office of Education | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Team works to fight disease

By Placerville Kiwanis | From Page: B3

 
COOL School is accepting applications

By Rescue Union | From Page: B4

Band of Miwoks fund mission

By Shingle Springs Band Of Miwok Indians | From Page: B12

 
.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 25-27

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
Weather stats 4-15-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

.

Obituaries

Numa Edward “Ed” Roberts

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Ronald Russell Rohrer

By Contributor | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Horoscope, Thursday, April 17, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Wednesday, April 16, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A10