I hate being wrong, but I’m not an oracle and well—it happens. As I continue to evolve, I am more comfortable conceding to being wrong. I’m not as gung ho about engaging in heated debates as I used to be. I always see both sides of the coin, even if I don’t decide to change my point of view.
But I am learning something valuable about wrong and right and winning and losing, and it came to me yesterday after reviewing some recent conversations: There is a difference between winning and losing and right and wrong. Admitting that you're wrong, doesn't mean you're losing.
A disagreement is nothing more than a learning experience if you choose to treat it that way. You can’t always be right, and you can’t always be afraid to “lose.” I am amazed at how often I used to say, “I’m NOT always right!” in theory or matter-of-factly, when in practice I was always right!
I recently stepped away from someone who never admits they’re wrong, or at the very least, acknowledges how their words or actions could be mean or hurtful. There may be a rare subtle hint of admittance, but nothing ever direct—they are just always right. It made me feel like I wasn’t being understood, which made me feel like we were never communicating. There was always verbal and emotional wrestling that left us both angry, dissatisfied and missing the point. I decided that when things get heated, the best way to cool things down is to regroup and take a break, so I can recharge my listening ear, open my heart and try to develop understanding.
This is a huge victory for me, and although I don’t initiate breaks as charismatically and explanatory as I would like, I understand why I do it and why it’s needed. It would be great if the bulb of understanding never went dim during disagreements, but it does. I get angry and I get impatient, and my light goes out.
When I catch myself trying to win an argument, I take a step back, because more than anything, even if I don’t agree, I still want to learn something.