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"A long dispute means both parties are wrong." ~Voltaire
Update: "Thinking I'm right is wrong." ~Beth K. Vogt, with compliments to my friend, Doug (a.k.a. "Wise Guy"), who taught me and my husband this concept
That whole "Who's right and who's wrong" concept? I struggle with it. Complete honesty: I like to be right.
When my husband Rob and I are, um, in a heated debate, it's easy to see how wrong he is--and how right I am. I don't understand why he can't see things from my perspective: the right one.
This I'm-right-and-you're-not attitude created some extended tension between Rob and I. Seems we're both stubborn. (There's just no other way to say it.) Oftentimes, I opted to just wait-out my husband. You know what usually happened? I fell asleep. Or I forget why I was so all-a-dither.
Then we had the advantage of partaking of the counsel of "Wise Guy." His point (one of many excellent points): If you are determined to be right, that means you are just as determined to make someone else wrong. Is that really the goal in your relationship: to make the other person be wrong?
Here's another life-giving principle Wise Guy taught us: Sometimes you are going to be upset with one another. One person may be ready to deal with the problem and one may not be ready. Realize that and agree to discuss things within a certain time frame.
We now have a 72-hour limit on arguments. And yes, I have been known to say, "I have 72 hours before I have to talk to you."
Funny thing is, I think I've only reached that limit once in the last five years after I embraced the "Thinking I'm right is wrong" principle.
In Your Words: Don't worry, I'm not going to ask you to divulge your last argument with your spouse or best friend. But I will ask this: How do you handle friction? Do you come out swinging, determined to deliver a knockout punch and prove that you are right? Or are you able to see the other person's side?
Labels: Beth K. Vogt, In Others' Words, Voltaire, Wise Guy, Wrong