The Art of Not Always Being Right

Ego, we all have it. It is a part of our defense mechanism. Nature has ingrained upon us an intrinsic capability to defend ourselves from harm. But ego is more than protecting yourself from physical harm; it is a trait of human beings to project an image that they are better than anybody else -- that they are not going to allow themselves to be stepped on.

Again, it is natural for you to shield yourself from something or someone whom you deemed as hurtful and dangerous to your reputation. That having said, there are times when the best way to safeguard yourself is to not let your ego be the bulwark of your mental and emotional state.

Can Arguments Really Change Minds?

Have you chanced upon memes on the Internet similar to this?


Well, I have seen several. The thing is, how many of you engage in an argument with the intention of being enlightened? I bet you argue with a person because you want to prove his/her belief is wrong -- meaning, you want that person to be enlightened, not yourself. Yet, that person also wants you to agree on what he/she believes is right. Even if you have not begun your discussion yet, both of you are at the disposition that you will not change your minds on account of the other’s arguments.

No, I am not discounting the capability of debates and forums to encourage democratic exchange of ideas, especially when there is a need to make new or revise old policies, rules, and laws that govern societies. In fact, debates do have a power to enlighten minds but mainly on the audience listening and watching the discussion, especially when it is done in public fora.

If you are a lawyer, politician, or policy maker, then arguing your ideas is your best tool to get your message across and fulfill your duty to your clients and constituents.

The Enjoyment You Get when You Prove Yourself Right

Human beings has this deep-rooted sense of (self) righteousness. How pleasurable it is to feel smart and to project an aura that you are ahead of others even in minute yet petty aspects, such as winning arguments. Vanity is almost always enjoyable especially when it is satisfied.

The thing is, being right is not the end of the satisfaction; the other party must acknowledge that you are right and he/she is wrong. Until the other side bows down to your will and accepts his/her defeat, then there will not be any pleasure in that.

Yet, how many times have you ruined your peace of mind just to shove your doggedness on a friend, sibling, coworker, partner, or spouse? Does it delight you when you wound and leave a scar on your relationships? Instead of making friends and solidifying alliances, you create hostilities against your reputation.

Have you ever lost your appetite during dinner because of a heated argument with a family member? Or have you seen people ruin a happy party because they let their emotions take control due to some wrangling they are involved in?

There are times when battling people in an argument is not as beneficial as you think. Wisdom and utmost humility is needed to choose which battles you need to win or simply walk away from. Do not let strong emotions govern your words. Learn how to disengage yourself from heating up lest you burn yourself and those close to you.


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