Monday, 20 June 2011
It's an exhilarating thing to be proven right. It is deeply satisfying to be vindicated. Such exhilaration and satisfaction are the reasons why people love to argue, why we hang on so long, why we must have the last word, and why we get red-faced and otherwise act like idiots over small matters.
Sometimes, though, there's more important than being right. Sometimes the best thing is to be gracious, even humble. Maybe it's more valuable to let another do something the wrong way and learn from it. Or maybe the argument is really another argument altogether, one that neither person can articulate, and so both people have chosen some other point to tussle over. Or - who knows?- you may be the one in the wrong, and the sooner you admit it and act like a good sport, the better everyone will be.
Did you ever play a tug of war when you were kid, and you suddenly just let go and watched your opponent fall in surprise? Why not end an argument by suddenly, "You know, you're probably right, and this isn't so important to me. I'd rather that we get along and that you feel satisfied with the outcome. So let's do whatever you want. How can I help you achieve what you're aiming for?"
Such behavior can be refreshing change of pace. Try it, or some version of it.