Always Be Wrong
There is no upside to winning an argument. We will build more Happiness if we try to always be wrong. Have you ever won an argument and enjoyed it? Probably not. You probably ended the argument with both of you thinking the other is helplessly hard-headed and clueless and probably won’t speak to each other for a few months. I have discovered another secret to happiness, not just your happiness, but everyone’s happiness…
Always assume you are wrong.
There are three benefits to always being wrong. First, people like it better when you’re wrong than when they’re wrong. We can get good at listening. Like anyone wants to do that. We also might even learn something.
#1. No one will ever thank you for proving them wrong
Nobody has ever been thankful to me for proving them wrong. Most people don’t want to hear data and logic and all that information learning stuff. Most people want to be right. The don’t take kindly to attempts to prove otherwise.
If we come up with a flawless, rock-solid line of reason, impervious to debate, we’re just going to make them mad for proving them wrong. Let them be wrong. Who cares?
We all care. We care, because we want to be right.
I want to be right even if it means nobody can stand to be around my know-it-all self.
Let them be wrong
Nobody has to know, but you and me. We’ll keep it our little secret. We can just let them think they’re right, let them be wrong and just not mention it. That is allowed.
#2. Get Good at Listening
“The dumbest people I know are those who know it all.”
– Malcolm Forbes
There is a second benefit to always assuming your wrong. If we assume we’re wrong, we’ll listen to what the other person has to say. Instead of just getting mad at us for thinking they’re dumb and trying to prove them wrong, they’ll be happy that they got to talk and hear their head rattle and somebody listened to them.
What’s better? Learning to listen or winning an argument?
Sure, winning an argument feels good in the short term. The very short term. Until we realize the other person is mad at us for-like-ever for calling them dumb. Or, since we’re so dumb, they don’t ever really listen to another thing we say.
No matter how right you are, you will never be right. It’s not even worth it.
Speaking of listening, give this Randy Rogers Band song “Better Off Wrong” a listen while you enjoy the rest of the post.
#3. We’ll learn something
We might actually learn something. We may not learn a fact or a figure, or anything else to store in our quiver of syllogisms for later debates. We will learn something more important. We will learn another point of view….what our friends think.
Regardless of how dumb we think what they think is, it is crucial to know and appreciate what our friends think. I love sentences like that!
It’s even better to know why your friends think what they think.
We might learn something we can add to what we already know, or something we can blend with what we already know. We’ll learn a little that we didn’t know, and we’ll learn a little that strengthens what we already know.
Yes, as crazy as it sounds, what I’m saying is this”
I’m talking [writing] about this weird thing called learning. I know it’s weird, but just try it. Open your mind a little bit. I will too! I’m at least strongly considering it!
And a third—or is it fourth now—benefit is connection. We’ll enjoy nice, pleasant conversations with our friend in which we let her say what she has to say. She’ll appreciate it. It will be more pleasant than an argument.
We’ll connect, and connection brings so much more happiness than rightness.
You know I’m right on this!
I dare you to try and prove me wrong. Just use the comments below.
PS: Apologies if this takes all the “fun” out of elections.