Had to be Right
There was a time in my life when I just had to be right about everything. It was important and I’d argue tooth and nail to get my point across.
When someone chose to disagree with me I’d try to back them into a corner or shut them down.
Not that I couldn’t be convinced that I was wrong, mind you. Unfortunately if I did see that I’d been wrong, I would jump to the “correct” viewpoint and hold that one just as doggedly.
Crazy, I know.
Stopped In My Tracks
Then one day I was stopped in my tracks. A close friend of mine said something that changed my whole view of the “being right” business. Here’s what he asked me.
Would you rather be right, or have friends?
I’d never even considered that those two things could possibly be opposed to one another.
But it makes sense.
It only took me a couple moments of thinking about it to realize that most people don’t want to be wrong. By holding so strongly to my desire to be right I was basically saying that everyone else was wrong.
Would I want to hang out with someone who thought I was wrong all the time? Nope. Not a chance!
Why then would anyone want to be around me then if I treated them the same way? Hmmm….
OK to be Wrong
Since then I’ve taken a different approach. I let myself be wrong now.
Nowadays I don’t sweat so much whether someone else thinks I’m right or I’m wrong. If they think I’m a all messed up, that’s their right.
I don’t make it my place to change their mind.
Does that mean I still don’t care about aligning myself with what is true? Of course not. And it doesn’t mean that I completely refrain from expressing my views either.
What it does mean is that I present my thoughts in such a way that I acknowledge the potential that conflicting views may have merit.
And I am finding that I have many more friends than I used to. It’s less stressful to boot, so I count it a win all around.
Now you know why I reserve the right to be wrong.