An Open Letter to the Smaller Person

People forget how painful it is to be the bigger person. As a serial “bigger person”, I find myself being the person who gets hurt, twice. First, because the “smaller person” hurt me. Then, the “smaller person” can’t/won’t admit they are wrong or can’t see how they’ve hurt me, and I have to be the one to reach out to patch things up. And that hurts.

“But just let them be,” “You don’t have to talk to them until they talk to you,” “It’s not your job to fix things.” 

Listen, I know. I KNOW. But it is not that easy. Only the people I care about have the power to hurt me, so if you hurt me, you mean a lot to me. It doesn’t sit well with me to be in a disagreement with someone I care about. It bothers me all day and night and I honestly feel a tightness in my chest. Or it bothers me so much that I get physically sick just thinking and dwelling on it. I hate having open or “pending issues” with people. I’m very honest and upfront so I want to deal with the issue right then and there.

Maybe I’m being selfish. People do need time to process and reflect on the problem. Not everyone can sit and handle it in the moment. I get that. But on the other hand, some people can be serial “small people,” never wanting to make the first move, always wanting someone to approach them to make up. As the smaller person, you feel valued and appreciated. The person coming to you values you too much to let this situation get in between you. They can’t go on without talking to you so they will bend in order to not break.

But for the bigger person, we feel undervalued and unappreciated. This situation affected both of us, yet I’m the one who has to chase you and make it better. You HURT me, yet if I sit idly by you won’t come to apologize or check on me. You can’t see the wrong in your actions and I feel that if I don’t show you, you won’t ever understand. I try to take the back seat, let you come to me but you never do. We are both equal proponents in this equation, but I’m the only one doing the work to make us work. How is that shit fair? It isn’t…

Maybe it’s a pride thing. The smaller person can’t stand to let go of their pride. They don’t care who they hurt or how they hurt them as long as they don’t bend first. As long as they can say “they didn’t go running to fix it,” they are still good. Or maybe the smaller person knows what they did wrong but they are too embarrassed to own up to it. Or they know they fuck up on a consistent basis and are “problematic” but they don’t want to face that..I can only speculate.

The easiest thing for me to do, isn’t easy at all. It is to step back. It is to realize and understand that I cannot always make the first move. I can’t always be the one extending and extending until I can’t extend anymore. I can’t make excuses for the “smaller person” and excuse the hurt they are causing me, now twice. As much as it hurts waiting and sitting on this issue, I can’t keep hurting myself more by taking on the blame and fault, in order to not have this “pending issue” on my heart. But it is hard, because I care about them, and inner peacemaker in me doesn’t want to let this go on longer than it has to. But I can’t always be the person who cares more…


  1. This is so true!!! 💜 When I was married, any time there was a disagreement I wanted to take care of it immediately, but my ex never wanted to. He would shut me out and pretend nothing ever happened which left me with all the mess to hold. It was really hard and was one of the many reasons why I had to leave after years of b.s. Thank you for shedding light on this very common scenerio and explaining how it feels to be the “bigger person”!

    Liked by 1 person

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