I really dislike being wrong.
In that, of course, I know I’m not alone. I doubt there’d be many who’d say being wrong is an altogether pleasant feeling. And that’s just by itself, before adding all the social angles and ramifications that we so (un)helpfully throw into to the mix.
Add to this that the opposite, being right, comes with such an amazing rush. What a charged and great feeling it is! We looooooove being right. And we’ll do all sorts of things to be right. Oh do we ever. We’ll sell out, or sell others out, contort ourselves and situations into pretzels, start fights, you name it. Being right is the best, and we’re ruthless in is pursuit.
Which, I’m sure you can see, can be a rather big problem. Because we become so committed to being right that we all to easily, accidentally, screw ourselves (and those around us) over… just so we can be right.
So tonight, I want to propose something that will reduce instances of that thing we so despise, being wrong:
“If I’ve been doing something for a while, and I learn that what I’ve been doing isn’t as good or benign as I thought it was, I am not WRONG unless and until I choose not to change what I am doing.”
“I could could say, ‘oops, I was wrong’, but I am not capital-W wrong unless I choose to cling to my actions and barrel on ahead.”
That’s it! We get to shift when we feel wrong. For it is impossible to know everything, and it is impossible to know what we as individuals and as a species will learn in the future. And sometimes, often even, we will learn things that shock us. “Crap, I’ve been the bad guy!” But not really… the villain arises only when they knowingly do, or continue to do, bad. With this, we gain a moment where we needn’t defend ourselves to prove we’re right and avoid being and looking bad.
To put it all another way: let’s not get our knickers all in a twist about it! “Nuts, I didn’t know! Crap… OK, what’s next?”
And with that we alter course, apologize and make amends if necessary, and move ourselves and the needle in the right direction.