Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ON FUN ~ I Never Stand Corrected...


At the age of 45, writer Regina Brett wrote a column for the Cleveland Plain Dealer listing 45 lessons that life had taught her thus far. As a breast cancer survivor, many of those lessons were learned the hard way. Five years later she added five more lessons rounding her list up to 50 and turned her popular list into a book called God Never Blinks. I found her list to be entertaining, inspiring and thought provoking. I thought I would go through each of her lessons learned and write about how that lesson has or has not come up in my own life, now that I am 40 and feel old enough to have finally learned something.

"You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree."
~ LESSON #6

Uh-oh. It seems that I have yet to learn this important lesson. People, I am always right. And I am very stubborn about this. I am also very frustrated that this easy truth is difficult for others to accept sometimes.

I can't let it go either. I can't let others walk away from the dispute, calling things a draw. I need to be right. And then I sulk over it and prey on innocent bystanders to use their agreement with me as proof of my convictions.

This is not healthy. I realize this. But I don't know how to let someone else have the satisfaction when I know they are wrong. OK. So I don't know how to admit that I'm wrong on the minuscule occasions where it becomes evident that I am. It is a terrible fault of mine that causes a lot of stress.

My boss is very stubborn. I am very stubborn. He is a control freak on all aspects of the world he encounters. He is also very generous, kind, funny and smart. And so I overlook his controlling nature for the most part. But when we have a difference of opinion or recollection, I take it as a personal challenge to win that dispute. My competitive drive to win kicks in. And his need to control kicks in. And we have quite the row when that happens. It can ruin the day and leave us both piping mad and grumbling to ourselves for hours. This causes me to lose focus and interest in my tasks at hand and leads to an unproductive streak. Which leads to stress later over the work that I allowed to get backed up.

My boss is always the first one to give in. He will sidle up to my desk and ask me if I want a Coke. Or offer to buy me lunch. He'll tell me my hair looks nice or try to distract me with sports news. It breaks the ice and allows things to enter back into our normal peaceful and harmless bickering and bantering. He never admits he is wrong or I am right. He just wants me to be a productive employee again and have his smiling friend back. He agrees to disagree.

I of course take this as a sign of weakness and internally proclaim myself the victor. Winner of the debate. In the right. Per usual.

16 comments:

Lin said...

I don't like to lose either. And I'll analyze conversations/arguments over and over, looking for every single reason why I'm right and the other person is wrong.

There is the rare occasion when I do admit to being wrong, but it is usually over something silly and non-important. But I DO give in sometimes, so that counts, right?

jehara said...

I can admit when I am wrong, but I do have an annoying habit of proclaiming when I am right.

Julie said...

My spouse and I decided that She was always right and I know everything.
That way I can say "You're right, I know". It has been helpful.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I have learned to eat humble pie once in awhile, but I have a fierce stubborn streak in me. Even if I am not a hundred percent sure I'm right, I will fight it UNTIL DEATH! One time (I'm digressing...)when my husband and I were dating, we saw a movie, then later I swore one of the actresses was Mia Farrow. To put me in my place, Robert looked up the movie and proved I was wrong. So now, whenever I am fighting the "I am right" battle, all my husband says is "Mia Farrow". Pisses me OFF.

kaye said...

Mr. J and two of my daughers have that problem--they are always right. I've learned to just concede the point right away so I don't have to listen to them. :/

Dave and Tami said...

Amen, Sister! Great lesson. I've been trying to teach this one to my children for 20 years now. Daughter just can't get the concept of "let it go".

I do agree, that sometimes it's hard to find the satisfaction in knowing you're right and the other guy is an idiot. I want THEM (and everyone else standing nearby) to know that I'm right and they are an idiot! :)

Janet said...

I have a friend who's like this...and sometimes, it's very hard to be her friend!

Drackar said...

The big problem is, if two people are absolutely, positively sure they are right...and won't bend?

More often than not, they are both wrong.

ds said...

We'll never have any problems, then. For I am Always Wrong (just ask my family)...

shoreacres said...

I'm finally having to confront this one, in spades. And it's all because of my mother....

Mom is nearly 93 and still living in her own home. However, we're on the downhill slide, and memory is going. That leads to conversations like this:

She: When are you going to pick up the mail?
Me: I did.
She: I wish I'd get something.
Me: You got that letter from XXXX
She: What letter?
Me: Don't you remember? I gave it to you an hour ago.
She: You never gave me any letter.

At this point, the top of my head is about to blow off. We go through this sort of thing about a dozen times a day. 99.9% of the time I'm right. Does it make any difference? No. Should it make any difference? Of course not.

It doesn't make learning the lessons any easier.

Susan said...

OMG! You sound just like me! I am always right, by god, just ask my husband! I have learned to temper it a little as I get older, and you will too.

I have a story similar to Sandy's. You are too young to remember this, but there was a mini-series in the '70s called "Rich Man, Poor Man" and there was an evil character in it. We were trying to figure out who the actor was and hubby said he remembered him from a western he had seen and his name was William Smith. Well, I argued until I was blue in the face that there was no way that that was his name. I was right, dammit, and he was WRONG! Well, I'm sure you can guess who the winner of that contest was when they rolled the credits, and for years he would whisper "William Smith" whenever he thought I was wrong about something. Made me madder than a wet hornet. Now we just laugh about it. It was the only time in 38 1/2 years that he WAS right though. LOL

My son Josh was like your boss. He would never say he was sorry when he had wronged someone, but he would do something sweet to get back in your good graces. I guess he took after his mom.

Beth F said...

Really? We're supposed to admit to being wrong??? LOL.

Izzybella said...

Boy howdy, this one hits home!!!

This is my stepmother to a T!! Since I share a home with my dad and stepmother (I pay rent, I do!!! says the person who hates being seen as some type of freeloader), it's a constant source of aggrivation. For the most part, my dad and I share a kind of mellowness that can just let it go, with the comfortable inner understanding that she is not, in fact, always right. But some days...oh geez some days she and I fight like cats and dogs over STUPID, STUPID things, just because my mellow gene decided to go on holiday.

It's okay. There are worse faults. :) Besides, what makes you think you might be wrong anyway?! :D

Kaye said...

Hubby convinced me to sell our lovely condo on the water , water, mind you and in a place that has everything you could want!!! Now 12 years later and I still manage to get in a few snide remarks about we could be living in "civilization" instead of the detestable podunk place we are now. I knew I was right!

Kathleen said...

This is a good one. I talk to my son a lot about this one. I call it my "better to be smart than right rule". I tell him sometimes it is smarter to walk away from an argument than to insist on being right. I have a hard time when I know I'm write in letting something go but I have learned to do it. Or maybe I am just getting older and more tired? Ha!

stacybuckeye said...

Thanks for the chuckle. I find it hard to admit I'm wrong with Jason, but for some reason can let it go with just about everyone else. I fear that Gage may be added to the list of one as he gets older ;)