The 21st Century Tragic Flaw

The heroes in Greek literature had their tragic flaw of hubris. Today, we have our own tragic flaw - we call it pettiness.

Let's not try and pretend any of us are exempt from this flaw; we've all done something petty at least once in our lives. It could be as simple as talking about someone when they aren't there, or it could be neglecting to invite someone on a social outing for whatever reason. Either way, the minute someone is petty to us, this angry beast inside us that wants nothing more than simple revenge is awakened. So now we're the ones going out of our way to exclude others and making sure they know they're being excluding.

Here's the thing about petty behavior though - it spreads like a disgusting foot fungus. Thanks to 21st century technology, not only does the intended "victim" know they're being excluded, but so does everyone else on social media. And we all know how quickly sh*t gets spread around on social media. That's why, if you're feeling a burst of pettiness coming on, it's best to have an easily accessible voice of reason nearby (i.e. a trusted friend).

Trust me, I know how tempting it is to throw general-yet-specific jabs on Facebook or Instagram. However, thanks to a trusty voice of reason, I'm reminded not to stoop to that level. Yes, it hurts when people start talking behind your back. But rather than give them the satisfaction of an honorary social media post, you just have to brush it off and keep your head high. Sometimes what they say can cross a line; I'm here to tell you that it's fine to drop a friend or two if they do that. If they had to wait until you weren't around to say it, then you're better off without them.

And sure, a "petty war" may initially seem like a grand solution, but it can quickly get out of hand. Before you know it, friends will be forced to play the messenger or pick sides, and that's just not fair to them. Anyone not originally involved in the issue shouldn't have to be dragged into it at any point; it's not their problem, so there's no reason to make it their problem.

The way I see it is like this: If you feel like you should try to patch things up between the person who hurt/wronged you, then go ahead. If you like you'd rather just remove the person who hurt/wronged you from your life, then go ahead. Since it's your life and you making the decision, there is no wrong decision. No one can justly tell you you're being irrational since they're not the ones in your position.

The only course of action that should be avoided is using the tragic flaw of pettiness. Don't believe me? Read some Greek legends and see how well those tragic flaws turned out for everyone.

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