12 easy ways to overcome pettiness
March 21, 2016 at 2:30 pm
Petty is out here running the game, dominating entertainment and ruling timelines. It started innocently enough – a quick source of comic relief or an instant point of connection to share mutual disdain for a common target. Although some people are able to confine their petty to lighthearted fun and the occasional harmless roast, for others it becomes a gateway to full-blown hate. If you think that you or someone you love has taken petty too far, ask yourself these questions: Do you enjoy feasting on the drama of other people’s lives? When you see others winning, do you wish for them to fail? Do you invest time and energy gathering allies and orchestrating negative campaigns against others?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be a suffering from compulsive pettiness or hate. But you don’t have to let it ruin your life. These 12 steps will set you on a path to recovery:
1. Accountability. Admitting you have a problem is a HUGE first step.
2. Lose the guilt. Hate is no less valid an emotion than happiness. We all have feelings of jealousy, envy and insecurity from time to time. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. You are human, and therefore, subject to the full spectrum of your being. It’s not about petty shaming, it’s about overcoming.
3. Confrontation. Next time you get the urge to dispense shade or hurl a veiled insult at someone, ask yourself: Why do I feel compelled to highlight their shortcomings and broadcast their flaws? What am I getting out of this?
4. Take ownership. A hardened petty addict has mastered the art of spinning, deflecting and validating their shade. You might tell yourself, “I’m not a hater, I’m just telling the truth.” To be clear, other people’s truths are not yours to tell, and if you’re holding court by phone, in person or via social media to verbally tear someone down, you are Petty Shabazz, Petty Wap, Petty Pendergrass, Petty. Avoid the temptation to justify it.
5. Self-inventory. Just because you’re petty doesn’t make you a bad person. You’re petty for a reason. Perhaps your masterful tea-serving skills wins rank within your social group. Maybe you’ve learned to elevate yourself by putting others down. Throwing shade might be a coping mechanism so you don’t have to deal with your own stuff. Pettiness is rewarded in society but the rewards are fleeting and superficial.
6. You’re amazing. If your sense of worth is externally based, you’ll always be in competition, needing to deflate anyone you see as a threat. Stop it with the shallow shenanigans. You are an original. There is literally no one on earth with your personality, talents and gifts. We all shine!
7. Let people live. It’s not your job to keep the world in compliance with your personal code of ethics. Unless someone poses a threat to your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, chill out and let people be.
8. Consequences. If changing your habits seem difficult, consider the consequences. Every negative word you utter will ALWAYS come back to you. The law of reciprocity is real. Next time you’re about to throw shade, ask yourself: Is this really worth stunting my growth, compromising my health, and thwarting my potential?
9. Expand. Once you subtract gossip from your arsenal, it might leave a huge gap in your conversation. Fill this space with positivity! Compliment others and build people up. Talk about interests, goals and dreams. These words will begin to plant positive seeds into the lives of everyone you speak with, including your own.
10. Forgive yourself As you evolve, don’t let anyone hold you hostage to your past. If you’re feeling guilty for prior petty crimes, go back and apologize but always keep growing.
11. Be patient. One day at a time. You won’t transition over night, but if you continue to check yourself as fits of pettiness arise, your patterns will eventually change and your character will follow.
12. Celebrate! Before you know it, you will have gone an entire day without uttering one negative or judgmental word. As days turn to weeks and weeks into months, you’ll begin to feel much lighter and happier. Celebrate each milestone and embrace your new shade-free lifestyle!