Here’s the thing: there is a reason why you don’t often hear someone boasting about being “wrong.” You don’t see people posting about the time they lost an argument. You don’t hear your friends joke about the past, saying something like, “Do you remember that time when I was completely wrong?”
That’s because we don’t like it. We hate it. We don’t like to believe we are at fault, even when we are. Think of a breakup, a fight with a friend, or an argument at work. We are quick to make out the other person as the sole wrongdoer. And maybe they are the villain in that case, but odds are your actions could be reflected upon too.
It affects us even when someone has an opposing opinion or view from ours.
Think of a time when you expressed an issue you were having to someone and they didn’t immediately come to your side. In fact, they played the devil’s advocate, siding with the opposing view of the situation instead of yours. Our natural reaction is to get upset. It’s to get defensive and flustered. Because in our minds, we only have our one perception that we probably spent hours declaring as true.
But what if we took this one step further? What if you paused, stopped making it so much about you and your need to hear those stubborn words “you were right,” and instead asked, What can you teach me from this? What can I possibly learn out of this? Because odds are there is something, but we just choose to look the other way.
Because they are our villain. We see it in movies. If you are not with us, you are against us. Despite all logic and rationale, we jump to conclusions.
However this thinking is actually the opposite of progressive.
I think it is a never-ending work in progress for us humans. It’s the unforgiving human in us that controls these instincts. The instinct of you vs. me, of enemy and foe. Because when we face conflict, we are actually placed in fight or flight mode. And just like animals, our own human instinct is to protect ourselves at all costs, including our minds.
Yet what do you have to lose by being the one to find fault in yourself? Maybe you lose your sense of pride for a quick minute, maybe your ego feels pressed down a notch, but the funny thing is, those who are able to admit they are wrong have a greater sense of pride and a more valid ego in the long run.
The real progress comes from walking away, committing to work on yourself, and not making it about who is right or wrong.