Choose being kind over being right

This is a hard lesson for me.   I am neither good at admitting I am wrong, nor in accepting fools gladly and what’s worse is that there are times when I won’t admit I’m wrong even when I have been.  In Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Richard Carlson says that we can choose whether to let everyone know that we are right or we can choose to be kind and not belittle others or put them down.

He says that if we point out that other people are wrong that justifies our belief in ourselves and must therefore vindicate that we are right.  But that comes at a price because deep down we know that it’s not the right thing to do.  Far better to build people up and bask in the good feelings that come making other people feel good.

I do snap at times, not often, but when I do, people are aware of it and those people are generally the ones I care about.   So I will try and understand the points of view with a little more compassion than I have sometimes shown in the past.

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12 Comments

  1. josie2shoes said,

    March 1, 2009 at 9:33 am

    This is a hard one for me too, Loz. Sometimes it is so tempting to smugly point out our “superior understanding” of things. But yes, why? What good does it serve, and do we feel any better for being so arrogant? When I am wrong (which isn’t seldom no matter how much I’d like to pretend so), it is so much kinder when people let it go and not rub my nose in it. We live with the knowledge (and sometimes embarassment) of our own mistakes as it is. Thank you for these great reminders from Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – awesome book!!

  2. Loz said,

    March 1, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Re-visiting some of these homilies I find is important because it is easy to get back into bad habits.

    Welcome back Josie 🙂

    Recent blog post: Choose being kind over being right

  3. Lindasphere said,

    March 1, 2009 at 10:54 am

    I think it is better to be kind that to be right all the time. Unless the “rightness” is a scientific fact, how do you determine what is right anyway? A bit like parenting. Or defining beauty. Or explaining the glory a piece of art work. The more you know about life and people, maybe the less inclined you need to be to always be right.

  4. Guest said,

    March 1, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Loz-hope this goes through. I have tried many times to leave comments but can never do it. I too don’t suffer fools gladly. especially when they’re me. I need patience with shortcomings. Good piece, as always~Rick

  5. Blur ting said,

    March 2, 2009 at 12:24 am

    I think what matters is, will insisting that you’re right make a difference in that situation. If not, maybe it is better being kind.

    Recent blog post: Self esteem issues

  6. Loz said,

    March 2, 2009 at 12:39 am

    Absolutely agree with that Blur

  7. Loz said,

    March 2, 2009 at 12:50 am

    Hi Rick – as you can see it did get through and thanks for the comment

    Recent blog post: Choose being kind over being right

  8. Loz said,

    March 2, 2009 at 12:51 am

    Linda – I guess what we really need to do is take a breath and decide what impact we have in telling people they are wrong, rather than that we are right. In taking that breath maybe we can end up with the same result but not the hurt.

    Recent blog post: Choose being kind over being right

  9. Hope said,

    March 2, 2009 at 2:13 am

    Yeah, I kinda suck at this sometimes…maybe I’m a little better with age, but prolly not as good as I should be. Nice post.

    Recent blog post: Wiener Watch

  10. Loz said,

    March 2, 2009 at 2:40 am

    I think we all suck at this sometimes Hope.

  11. Romany Angel said,

    March 2, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Yes it is definitely a lot kinder not to rub someone’s nose in their mistake. Most often they already know where they went wrong…it serves no purpose to point out the obvious. Let them have some dignity, it’s the “right” thing to do. Love that book and the lessons it teaches us.

    Recent blog post: Putting the “fun” into funeral

  12. Spot Cool Websites said,

    March 2, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    I *totally* agree with the sentiments expressed here. The practical applications aren’t always so easy, though. It isn’t that I think I’m “right” in some universal, moralistic way. It is that I know what I think. (Maybe I’ll change what I think later but, for now, I know). That’s knowing is important to me. But I think this it has to stand in the way of being kind and respecting other for what they know.

    Recent blog post: The Best Hosting Companies For A WordPress Blog


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