Early on in our marriage, PR31 and I adopted a rule that said if one of us took a big stand that we were right about an issue and we’re later found to be wrong, we had to say out loud to the other person, “You were right, and I was wrong.”
I hated it when I discovered to be wrong and I had to utter those words. It happened more than once… to my own embarrassment. Each time, I felt like the Fonz from Happy Days or Vinnie Barbarino from Welcome Back Kotter… barely able to utter the second part of the statement. It didn’t take me long to learn that my relationship with PR31 mattered more to me than trying to prove my mental prowess.
You see, sometimes being kind is better than being right. And your response to that statement depends on how you define winning.
“Winning at any cost” to some means they will sacrifice relationships and people to accomplish their goals. To others, it means setting aside some of their personal desires or doing without certain things to be able to preserve relationships. (I choose the latter, if you care to know.)
I obviously don’t mind sharing my opinion… I write this blog. But there comes a point for me where arguing and debating an issue ceases to have as much value when I realize that I could wound a person long-term or degrade them publicly and lose their friendship. I have been in arguments I could have won based on my knowledge of the facts, and yet would have lost a relationship that really mattered to me in the process. So I chose to lose… in order to win.
You may be right. You don’t have to let anyone know you’re right. You can keep that little fact to yourself, and it will all come out in the wash. In the meantime, you’ll keep a friend both now and later.
Priorities reveal our true definition of winning. What you make important makes an impact… one way or another.
Choose kindness… What is right will eventually become clear, and you just might retain a relationship that you’ll be glad you didn’t lose.