How "Be the bigger person" is a tool to silence and shame

Dec 2006
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Taking the high road, and not commenting each and every silly thing, or to always fight back on small topics, that's how i look at it.
What if the topic is your right to exist unmolested by people who think they should impose their moral code on you? Should I just walk on by?
 
Sep 2016
25,823
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My own world
Anyone ever been told to "be the bigger person" after being victimized by bullies? Or a parent?

How often does it work?

I was told to "be the bigger person" a lot in school. It never stopped the bullies from picking on me. It only told them that they could do whatever they wanted to me and I wouldn't fight back. It wasn't until I stopped being the bigger person and fought back a few times (never winning, but also never losing) that they finally left me alone.

My mom physically and emotionally abused me growing up, and continued gaslighting me well into adulthood. I was told to "be the bigger person" because she's my mom and I should be grateful for her raising me. It wasn't until I told her have fun dying alone and completely cut off contact with her and blocked her number for six months that her behavior began to change. That may sound cruel to some of you, but we have a much better and more healthy relationship now.

In my experience, when people tell you to "be the bigger person" it's because they just want you to be quiet and take whatever abuse is being dished out to you. It's almost always used against minorities to avoid upsetting the status quo.

What do you think?





I have to say that this is true to some extent. If you don't stand up to abuse it just seems to encourage it. I don't think you have to be abusive in return but certainly defending oneself and making it clear that even if you are hurt in the exchange the other party is going to get a bloody nose as well. (you were going to be hurt anyway if you didn't fight back so really you don't have anything to lose if you do fight back proportionally)
 

Rev. Hellh0und

Former Staff
Jul 2011
74,016
15,300
Somewhere below 14th and East.
I have to say that this is true to some extent. If you don't stand up to abuse it just seems to encourage it. I don't think you have to be abusive in return but certainly defending oneself and make it clear that even if you are hurt in the exchange the other party is going to get a bloody nose as well. (you were going to be anyone if you didn't fight back anyway so really you don't have anything to lose if you do fight back at least proportionally)


I agree I tried that here once, didn't work out so now I treat them as they treat me. when a bully walks into a room, you can either sit down, or stand up. I always stood up.
 
Mar 2012
60,679
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New Hampshire
My parents were very unique in the fact that they always told us to fight back. Never be "bullied or taken advantage of." They were more punitive about us starting anything but if someone else started it, we certainly were allowed to fight back. My brother used to get in trouble at school and when my parents were dragged in, their first question was "who started it?" My parents came from a more subsistence type culture and believed humans were never meant to roll over when attacked, just like animals arent expected to.