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What is Taking The High Road?

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He who fights with monsters should take care that he himself does not become a monster.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
Taking the high road is the principle that you maintain your personality and standards of behavior in response to difficult situations such as an encounter with political tricks, unethical behavior, insults and indignities. The principle addresses the common urge to shift into negative behavior when encountered with difficult people or situations. Changing your personality or standards in response to such challenges can make you look like the bad guy and leave you with a sense of regret.
Remaining calm and reasonable when faced with conflict.
Not matching insults with insults.
Not matching unreasonable behavior with unreasonable behavior.
Using the systems, culture and norms that are in place to resolve conflict.
Gracefully accepting unfair criticism but defending yourself in a reasonable way.
Refusing to engage in personal attacks but sticking to the issues.
Refraining from gossip.
Not rushing to judge others.
Helping others when they make a mistake instead of using the mistake to undermine them.
Helping others to save face.
Win-win thinking whereby you believe the success of others doesn’t undermine your own success.
Being honest in an environment of dishonesty.
Forgiving others.
Apologies when you feel bad about something.
Working to see yourself in a realistic light even if others are delusional.
Working on your own weaknesses as opposed to harshly criticizing others.
Avoiding whatboutisms.
Showing compassion and understanding.
Trying to see the good and potential in others.
Doing good things without seeking reward and recognition.
Being kind to someone who has been unkind.
Maintaining high standards in the face of low behavior is no easy practice as it requires mastering your emotions in the most difficult of situations. Taking the high road is a hallmark of maturity and tends to earn respect and admiration.
Overview: Taking The High Road
Type
Definition
Maintaining your personality, standards of behavior and ethics when facing political tricks, unethical behavior, insults and indignities.
Value
Self-actualization
Earning respect and admiration
Related Concepts
Next: Tit for Tat
More about political behavior:
Abilene Paradox
Absenteeism
Blame Shifting
Boreout
Change Fatigue
Civility
Cold Logic
Consensus
Criticism
Cruel Wit
Devils Advocate
Difficult Behaviors
Escalation
Failing Upwards
Fear Of Youth
Groupthink
Internal Competition
Leave
Loaded Question
Loss Of Face
Malicious Compliance
Motivation
Negative Selection
Networking
Not Even Wrong
Nudge Theory
Passive Aggressive
Petty Authority
Political Capital
Professional Life
Reactance
Satisficing
Saving Face
Schadenfreude
Sidelining
Social Influence
Social Proof
Tit For Tat
Trained Incapacity
Workplace Culture
Yes People
More ...
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