When You Let Yourself Get Petty

Participant View

People always tell you don’t sink down to their level. I don’t believe that that is actually what is happening. This is a self-destructive behavior that really has nothing to do with the other person. I’m going to tell you a story about a friend of mine acting and her pettiness without regard to me as a person. I believe that it is your ego that is being petty not a reaction to someone else. Hear me out on this.

So my friend and I got into an argument about how she was treating the people around her. She was avoiding her feelings so hard that we were all getting the cold shoulder. I believed she was working through things but as usual for her, she was just avoiding. Though her words said otherwise. Me being the person who has to save everyone from themselves when I see they have chosen a path that is destructive; I confront her. Now we all know feels of any kind are hard to put away so you can speak with honesty, however, that day ego stood up and I was unable to stop her rant. I made her feel as bad as I perceived she made me feel.

That was completely me. I chose to let my ego talk and not stop it. (A lot of people do this and really it’s hard to stop mid-argument.) So she felt hurt and angry which is where I was so my ego succeeded in its goal. Misery loves company.

But this isn’t where the petty stopped. Later that day she had journaled and realized that she was avoiding and being cold. She even had a moment where she understood what my emotional ass was trying to say. However, due to the perceived pettiness that was already in motion, she did not come to me to discuss it. She did not call me on my pettiness and she did not contemplate her next actions. She chose to keep the cycle going and not talk to me. She kept her epiphany to herself because I hurt her so I didn’t deserve her epiphanies. This meant she didn’t share it with anyone. She didn’t take it a step further and let it change how she acts. She just hid it cause I was no longer worthy of her good stuff. All that reinforced in her was that she wasn’t worthy of her good stuff. She forgot what her epiphany was and went back to the same cycle that made her self-destruct in the first place.

These thought patterns do nothing to the other person really except reinforce the idea that your happiness is dependent on the people around you. It isn’t. It is wholly inside you. You decide how you are going to react or act in every situation. You chose.

Since that moment I strive to keep my ego from using my words because I could hear and see what I was doing. It was like watching a train wreck you couldn’t stop even though I was the one driving my train. That is how awareness starts. Then you realize you’re not as nice as your inner person wants. Then the destructive cycle starts over again.

Your’s might be you’re not as loved, or you’re not as cared for. Whatever your cycle starts with it always ends with you doing to other people the same thing you are doing to yourself in your head. If you tear yourself down for a simple mistake then I promise you, you are doing that same thing to someone in your life. If you always feel taken advantage of then I promise you are doing that to someone else in your life. How you treat the real you is how you treat the world around you.

A “Karen” for example is just a person that tears herself down at the simplest of mistakes. Who is so insecure about her choices that she is unable to be ok with anyone else’s. We all choose different paths when we get that insecure. I have people in my life that shut down. I scream and yell. Others shut out everyone and curl up in a ball. It doesn’t matter what it looks like for you as long as you can identify. If you are trying to justify your actions of self-harm and harm to others then you have a lot of work to do. Owning your actions is the only way to change them. I would rather tell someone that I’m mean and say crappy things than let a good relationship get crazy because of pettiness.

Observer View

Being petty has little to do with “sinking down to another’s level” and so much more to do with your internal parasites pushing you into self-destructive cycles. Let us explain through a story. 

Two friends get into a heated conversation. Person A feels like they are being ignored by Person B, while Person B is avoiding Person A to deal with emotions that have been caused in their relationship. When A confronts B they are talking through emotions (like it or not, when we feel ignored it creates emotions), because they are speaking through emotions instead of through their higher intelligence it comes out angry, hurt, and accusatory. 

PERSON A ISN’T WRONG IN FEELING THIS WAY!!! Emotions are a part of the human experience, and you have every prerogative to feel all your emotions. As an interdimensional being others are unable to affect us unless we let them – this is where thinking through your emotions comes in. While what others say directly creates an emotional (or physical) response in your body, how you respond is entirely your choice. It is easy to respond with emotions, but it is more helpful (and healthy) to respond with your intellectual self. 

In this example Person B was ignoring Person A: that’s petty. Much like ignoring a leak in your roof, it will only get worse from here. Person A then responded through their emotions to Person B in a petty way: lashing out and being accusatory. While these actions had the intent of helping the other, because they were said through emotion instead of logic it is a petty action. 

By being petty, these people were hurting themselves more than they were hurting the other. (Remember, others can’t hurt you unless you let them, or unless you believe what they say/you say it to yourself so it is a reflection of your internal dialogue. It is you that is hurting you, and others are just repeating what you say to yourself which is what hurts more – they are appearing to confirm your negative self-bias)

The Pettiness continues. After the heated conversation Person B journals (YAY!!! Please always work through your emotions or they become festering parasites.) Through journaling, they discover that Person A was right! Or at least partially right, that how they were acting wasn’t nice to those around them. However, they let their emotional response to Person A’s yelling stop them from communicating through their intellectual self. Since there was no follow-up for the new information, there was no space to implement a new action plan to change the patterns, nor was there space for either party to own their actions, apologize and move forward together.

Both Persons were reacting to emotions caused in their bodies, then letting those emotions decide how they interacted with each other. In doing so their interactions came from a place of pettiness; responding in a way to make themselves feel better. In doing so each person confirmed and feed their own internal parasites.

For Person A we can see that they feed an egotistical parasite, that they control when and how others change, and without their confrontation, others won’t change. 

While Person B reinforced a self-worth parasite by choosing not to communicate with Person A it triggered a confrontation that made them feel unheard, unloved, and not respected. Later when choosing not to share positive discoveries and own their actions Person B also reinforced ignoring the positive of the situation, letting themselves stay in self-pity and isolation. 

If you connect with Person A in the above story, we hear you. You aren’t wrong. When you confront people they change. That is true. However, you can interact with others in a way that isn’t forcing or controlling. Their Journey is on them. 

If you connect with Person B in the above story, we hear you. You aren’t wrong. You need space to process your emotions. That is ok. However, when you take your time to work through emotions ask yourself how your absence affects you. Perhaps you need to communicate honestly with them and yourself about how you are spending your time. 


What do you think? Do you see yourself in the story above? Did we miss something? Join the conversation in the chats below or on our Facebook page. We look forward to talking with you.

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