Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wrong about being right

I recently read The Value of Wrong, an insightful essay by Heather Bussing, in which she counsels us to embrace being wrong.

"Most of us yell, insist, dig in, run, shut down, do research, or make up stuff to avoid being wrong," she writes.

Oh, that is so true of me.

I hate to be wrong, will go to almost any lengths to prove I'm right, see being wrong as a personal failure, will still be defending my position to myself, in hindsight, even when everyone else has gone home and is well past caring.

I love the cut and thrust of the argument, and need to hear the other guy concede.

This does not endear me to people but, in the heat of the thing, it's more important to be right than to be loved.

Heather says, "When people are focused on being right, discussions become contests of gotcha and score keeping."

Admitting you're wrong allows a fresh start, dissipates tension, breaks any impasse, opens things up for the consideration of alternatives and new thinking.

In fact, why wouldn't you say, "I'm wrong," even when you think you're right, if it would move things along toward a good result? Well, why wouldn't you?

C'mon, you know I'm right!


  1. So funny, Doug and rest assured you are right!!
    It is a struggle for me to admit that I'm wrong about something. AND a simple 'I'm wrong' isn't working at the mo. I hve to delve into every little pool of thought and information that I feel led me to the wrong conclusion. Ha ha. Must write "I'm wrong" 100 times. Might help me choke it out once in a while.

    1. We're cut from the same cloth, Francie. Who can we blame?

  2. I used to be like that when I was younger. Now I'm older and know that everyone is an idiot, including me. So if someone wants and needs to be "right" that badly, I just let them be. WTF do I care?

  3. This is such a funny post because it's so true! My husband and I call this the 'putrid banana' stance. No matter how rotten the banana is, no one is willing to give it up. They hold onto it despite it being in need of the trash, even if all parties (particularly the person holding it) know it's crap. We all have moments like this, but I won't insist on being right when I absolutely know that I'm not. Then I feel foolish for insisting while holding a 'putrid banana'. :)

    1. Martha, I love that "putrid banana" thing. That is so true, isn't it. Gee, I wish I could just grow up.

  4. Jeesh I love that putrid banana thing too. Ha ha. Anyway, Doug, I'm actually back here begging you to blog about health care. I would like to know what 2 tier health care is and how you see it working in Canada. Is that a possibility????