Hey Big Sis: Am I a Bad Person if I Make a Couple of Bad Decisions

How to take accountability and move on from your mistakes - Part two of my "Hey Big Sis" series
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Created by uplabdhipandey

Published on Mar 12, 2024
"sorry" written on a chalkboard

I recently had a scuffle with a close friend. It was mostly inconsequential, with little to no impact on my everyday social life but it left me broken for a little while. I felt horrible, being unable to talk to this friend, constantly wondering whether I was this horrible person who was only capable of infuriating people to the point of no return.

A couple of days were spent feeling guilty. A couple more spent blaming her. Then, I reached out, apologized, and all was well again.

At work, a client once called me manipulative. I went on Reddit and penned down a long post asking if this is what devastation feels like, a hit on my morality and ethics, a true representation of myself. I called him names behind his back; I spent long hours ranting about how irresponsible this 30-something-year-old guy was for questioning a 21-something-year-old, and then, a couple of days later, I apologized, and all was well again.

Somewhere in this cycle, I realized I am a people pleaser with an ego. Do you know how hard that is? To be able to question myself, to be able to question others. To be able to blame myself and, at the same time, blame others. Never to see my perspective, never to see others. I am always the victim. I am always the villain.

You may see yourself in this story. At the start of every conversation or confrontation, you are a people-pleaser. By the end of it, you are an egoistic idiot on a streak to win. But nowhere in between are you a bad person trying to hurt someone for your own personal gain. 

You're just someone who is tired of failing trying to win. The only flaw here is that there is nothing to win. Our actions dictate our relationships. Whether it be our words, our gestures, or our thoughts, we are always trying to win, to be someone who is not a 'loser'. I understand. Been there, done that. And in trying to win, you end up making a bad decision. You say something hurtful. You do something vicious. You wish them everything but well. 

Maybe you lie. Something that you think is harmless. And then you realize the gravity of what you said. A lie becomes a rumor. Your days turn restless. The rumor spreads. Her reputation dips. Life is hard again. She glances at you. You glance away. You realize the impact of what you've done. Maybe you didn't intend to do it. It was spontaneous. It was impulsive. It just happened.

I get it. I get why you did it. I get why you feel bad. That doesn't make you bad. Did you feel guilty about the action? Yes. Are you going to take accountability and apologize? Yes. Then, you are not a bad person. Even if you're scared of taking accountability, then also you're not a bad person. Take that little step. Trust yourself. Take accountability. And apologize. Apologize because you mean it.

It is hard, yes, but you should do it. Apologizing does not make you any lesser person than you were before. Maybe they will accept it. Maybe they won't. But at some point, you have to hold yourself accountable for the bad decisions you make. A couple of bad decisions don't make you a bad person—just a lost person incapable of identifying the next best course of action.

The next time you make a bad decision. Follow my simple mantra, and you should be okay. 'Reflect, realize, redo'. 

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