Take the high road

May 27th, 2008


Take the high road.

This expression means to handle a situation in a kind and ethical way instead of retaliating and seeking revenge.

Here is a common situation where this expression is used:

Imagine your boss was in a bad mood one day and started yelling at you for no good reason and complaining about your work. You’d probably be upset by this and might want to retaliate by saying something negative to him. Let’s say that you discuss this with your friend and your friend says to you; “He’s just in a bad mood. Of course he shouldn’t have yelled at you, but if you get upset and yell back then you are just as bad as he is. You should take the high road and forget about it.”

Imagine your ex-girlfriend sees you and tells you that she never loved you and hated the whole time you were together. You could retaliate by saying something horrible to her, or you could take the high road by disregarding what she said or saying something like, “I’m sorry you feel that way”.

I know from experience it’s difficult to take the high road (I don’t always do it) but it’s certainly something we should all try to do.


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83 Responses to “Take the high road”

  1. Neimar Alves Guerra Says:

    May 27th, 2008 at 11:04 am

    Thanks again for the good explanation.
    I really appreciate your posts and I’m learning a lot with them. As a Brazilian trying to learn some English your blog is being a useful tool towards my goals.
    Keep up the good work

  2. Wendy Says:

    May 27th, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Thank you for you excllent explaination, I really catch the exact meaning of the phrease.

  3. Beto Says:

    May 27th, 2008 at 11:50 am

    I tottaly agree with you, It is quite hard to do, But is very good way to improve yourself!

    Sometimes revenge can be a very bad dish!

    Have a great week!

    See you around, From Brazil


  4. Soroor Says:

    May 27th, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    First of all, thanks a lot for ur useful experession.
    I think that the joy of forgiving others is much more than that of taking revenge or retaliating.But as it is mentioned above in comments, it’s too difficult to behave yourself at that very moment and be calm and not retaliating,cuz you think that by taking revenge you feel much better and are satisfied of yourself and so on.But actually it’s not.
    Besides, because we are human beings and make mistakes in our life, so we should suppose that it may happen to us one day and in a critical time,we do such a thing and the other person wants to retaliate.For sure most of us dont want the other person to take revenge and want him/her to forget about it.
    I think by taking the high road, we teach the other person somehow and he will be ashamed of his behavior later on.

  5. Idemitsu82 Says:

    May 28th, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks for the another good one!
    Recently I often thought that, as you grow older, things you need to give up in a way grow in numbers to get along with people around you. I almost started feeling depression actually.
    But I guess your essay here coud be a great relief for me.
    Yeah, I’d say “I’d take the high road” instead of thinking it’s a compromise.

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    Wonderful explanation!

    Although, taking the high road is not always easy to do. I have learned that it actually brings relief from the disease of “having A NEED to be RIGHT!”. This road is remarkablly a “peaceful place,” because you walk away being the BIGGER person. WOW!!!

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    I might “take the high road” with a boss if I don’t have other choice but when it comes an ex-boyfriend ( similar to Andy’s example) my moral attitude would be, best scenario, something like “umm…aham…”

    we have an excellent saying in Romanian “Facere de bine futere de mama-n cur” which reminds us is what kind of world we actually live in sometimes… Since the saying is extremely rough, I kindly wouldn’t recommend translation ;)

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