Fight, and you may win; let go, and you may feel like you’ve given in; but what are you fighting for? What do you value?
If you’re holding on and fighting because you’re angry about a situation or an individual…or if you feel wronged in some way or another…it becomes important to evaluate what’s at stake before launching into a battle. There is a cost for every gain, and the cost is often far higher that we tend to realize…particularly when we are not using our frontal cortex. If the cost were evident at the outset, the likelihood would probably be far lower that you’d be willing to pay. It’s important to remember that you can’t hurt someone else without hurting yourself in the process.
At stake is our self respect. Self respect is often gauged by examining the courage or strength necessary for the chosen action or response. It’s important to note that walking away, stopping to evaluate for alternate solutions, or saying “NO.” often requires more strength than facing an issue head on).
At stake is our time. It becomes important to determine what our time costs to us. We’re all struggling to keep death at a respectable distance, but we all die. In addition, we all have roughly 24 hours per day in which to build our lives. We can’t get more time. Money on the other hand is a renewable resource. If you’re fighting over money, is the cost in time worth the benefit?
At stake is our mental health and energy. Although we can do many things at the same time (just watch a drummer) we can only truly focus on one thing at a time. We often act out of fear, and when this is the case, there is no room for love. Again, if we fight, we suffer. Despite the victory circle celebration and our collective cultural belief on struggle, nobody truly wins. The only fight won is the fight not fought. We may determine that our energy can be far more valuable if invested in another, more positive pursuit.
More than just the relationship on the other side of the argument, at stake are other important relationships around you. We become what we think about most of the time. If we are harboring resentment, these feelings become more powerful and can dominate our thoughts. People who are chronically resentful become less attractive and it becomes difficult for them to attract and build the relationships that will be a positive influence in their lives.
I’m not suggesting that fighting is never the best option, nor am I suggesting that anybody cowers or always backs down. There are hidden costs however, that we rarely consider before stepping onto the battlefield. Is it truly worth the cost?