• The Hopefulist

Toxic behaviors - the need to be right

We are going to focus on toxic behaviors this week. The first and probably worst is the need to be right. So often we dig in and refuse to admit that we have may been mistaken and if we are indeed mistaken, then we look pretty foolish after kicking up such a fuss.

This is one I struggled with for a long time and still do from time to time. I have a need to make sure information is correct. One of my pet peeves is the passing along of inaccurate information. Which is why social media makes me crazy at times. I've gotten into arguments with friends over such simple, ridiculous things because of this need I have to make sure information is accurate. I don't necessarily think this is a bad trait. I come from a news background and have been in a position to give information many times in my career so I take pride in making sure I'm informing in the most accurate way possible. And by the way, the term "fake news" makes me bonkers! But sometimes, it just isn't that big of a deal and it's better to just let things go.

I had an incident with a friend of mine from the neighborhood a few months back. She had shared a post depicting an exert from a book that predicted this pandemic. The quote was from a different book referenced in the post. Well, I just pounced on that fact. Because stuff like that really bothers me. Maybe it shouldn't. Maybe I should just hope that people take what they see on social media with a grain of salt (although that probably isn't true). But I argued with this woman over this post. She claimed the name of the book wasn't a big deal, it was about the prediction. I disagreed. I feel if someone can take the time to create a post but can't get the information correct, they shouldn't be making posts claiming "truths" at all. But was it worth getting into it with this woman? No. It was silly. Sometimes it is best to just let things go.

Honestly, let that stuff go. Life is short and the repercussions of arguing over something basically insignificant and the backlash that sometimes follows just isn't worth it. Even if you are right. What is the cost of proving that? Are people mad at you? Have you created ill feelings with people you love? Are you creating a reputation as a smug, obnoxious person? Is this all worth being right? I'll quote one of my favorite Dr. Phil'isms....do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? Is being right so important that you are isolating yourself from friends and family? That people don't want to deal with you because they are tired of being corrected, lectured and told they are wrong. Is being right worth all of that?

Maybe the knowledge that you are right and you know it can be enough for you. Because whether you argue your point or not, if you are right...you are still right if you don't argue about it. And you know what is even better than arguing? When someone comes back to you and says; "hey, you were right about that thing we were talking about." Or maybe they won't say anything at all but they will remember that you were right and they may take you a little more seriously next time.

I was reading a book on leadership one time and they were talking about having a dinner with one of the top executives at their company. The person was talking about how he had corrected the executive on something that he was mistaken about. One of his co-workers took him aside after and said, never correct your boss...especially in front of others. And the author was like; "but he was wrong. I didn't want him to go around thinking that." His co-worker said; "so what? Who cares if he thinks that? Because he probably still thinks he's right and you're an ass." Then if he finds out you were right he will likely be even more mad. Let them find out on their own. Then they will realize that you were right all along.

Or what about those times that you weren't right? Now, that's humiliating! I had a discussion with a woman from my book club one time about people who hosted the Academy Awards. She talked about one of her favorites being Neil Patrick Harris. I didn't remember him ever doing the Oscars but I knew he did the Tony's often. That is what I said to her. Or maybe I insisted she was wrong. That could have been why she whipped out her phone and brought up the exact year he hosted the Oscars. Well, well...don't I feel foolish now. But I will never forget her smugness when she proved herself right and I still don't really like this woman. The whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth and I'm a grudge holder. Even though I was partly to blame for the whole thing. Now, I feel even worse because she bested me...proved me wrong in front of my book club! The horror! My point is we were both wrong in the way we went about it. We both were likely left with unkind feelings about the other and it just wasn't necessary. I should have just said...oh, I don't even remember him hosting the Oscars...only the Tony's. Live and learn people...live and learn.

And when it comes to your family...it's even more important to keep yourself in check You could be right all day long and fight about it all day long. Sometimes it's just not worth it. It's okay to put forth correct information but if it isn't met with agreement than let it go. Just let that shit go. Life is too short and it just isn't that important.

Oh Monday...how I love thee! It's a brand new week full of possibilities and opportunities. Now go make big things happen and be your badass self. You know I'm cheering you on!

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