Unlearning The Notion “I’m Right”
Try being wrong once in a while
“I’m very comfortable being right” She admitted
“We all are. But sometimes it’s a lonely place”-Edward Abbey
Have you ever engaged in an argument with a friend or colleague to a point that you undoubtedly believed you were right and the other was wrong? You defended your point with passion, so you don’t end up looking stupid or ridiculed. I think a few of us can relate to this.
Everyone hates being wrong, we always want to be in the right that sometimes we blatantly ignore the truth. We fall too deep in arguments that we will say anything just to prove we are right. At a certain point, the conversation might get hostile and we just might end up hurting people unintentionally.
Well, being right is overrated. We often think being right given us this invisible power of ownership or superiority complex over another. The notion ‘I’m right’ mostly emanates from past experiences or fore-knowledge, which by the way puts you in the wrong. Most people begin to say “I’m sure, I saw it happen” or “Of course I’m right, that’s what normally happens”. This acclaimed experience begins to cloud our judgement and most times we turn it into spite, that it completely blocks our sense of reasoning.
“People who base their self-worth on being right about everything prevent themselves from learning from their mistakes. They lack the ability to take on new perspectives and empathize with others. They close themselves to new and important information. It’s far more helpful to assume that you are ignorant and don’t know a lot. This keeps you unattached to superstitious or poorly informed believes and promotes a constant state of learning and growth”- Mark Mason (The Subtle Art of not giving a F*ck)
When our reasoning becomes blocked, then all things come to a halt even our feelings. Sometimes we get over-emotional in an argument that we feel the opposite party is out to get us. (trust me I know the feeling). Usually, people who involve their emotion in an argument in the bid to prove they’re right, are mostly wrong. This is what I will call “avoidance of truth”.
Let’s be honest, what about ‘being right’ is attractive, because no one likes a ‘know it all’. It’s unattractive to have it right all the time. The fact is, immature people always want to win an argument even at the cost of a relationship.
I will say, being wrong eliminates the constant strive and pressure of being seen as ‘perfect’. It gives us room to be open-minded to new things, new ideas and point of views. Sometimes, take a moment to deliberately lose an argument and you will see how much you will learn. Pump the same energy you invest in proving to be right in learning how to be wrong (it doesn’t depreciate you by any value). Rather, you will gradually gain the respect of your counter-part thereby improving your relationship with people.
Next time you find yourself in an argument, resist the temptation to prove your mental prowess. Listen, make your point (not argue your point) and end the conversation. It may seem incredulous, but you will learn a thing or two when you pay attention.
Sometimes you need to unlearn to learn.