“Nothing is funnier than confidently doing the wrong thing.” – Adam McKay
Daily Nugget of Gold 1194
We have a confession to make before we begin this particular Nugget. We’re not “there yet” on the admirable quality we’re about to discuss. No, we’re not talking about “being right” even though our installment today is named that- we’re talking about how it’s better not to be right. Huh? Well, not exactly, just not walking around with the attitude that we are right way more often then we are wrong.
We need to thank Dale Carnegie, the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People for opening our eyes on this one, but trust us- breaking any lifelong habit takes practice and patience. Your author slips back into the mode of wanting to “prove we are right” so easily it’s scary.
Years ago on the hit TV show Roseanne, Dan, Roseanne’s husband, was giving marital advice to his son-in-law, who was having an argument with his wife, Dan’s daughter. The son-in-law asked something along the lines of, “What if I’m are right though, and I can prove it?” and Dan replied, “Doesn’t matter.” The son-law-law tried to interject, “But…” and Dan cut him off with a calm, “Doesn’t matter.” again. What Dan was hinting at here was we can “be right” or we can get along with the other person. Lincoln put it a different way, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
Getting back to Dale Carnegie, he had related a story about when he was at a dinner party and the guest of honor was giving a quote he had contended was from The Bible. Dale knew the quote was from Shakespeare, not The Bible. Dale tried to enlist the help of a friend who was an expert on Shakespeare who was sitting with them at the table. The man kicked Dale under the table and said, Dale, you are wrong, that quote IS from The Bible.
On the way home the gentleman explained to Dale that yes, indeed the quote was from Shakespeare but they were at a festive occasion in honor of the other gentleman. He went further to explain what the result would be of proving him wrong, he would embarrass the man and ruin the evening for him. He asked, “Suppose you proved him wrong, would that lead the man to like you?”
So many times your author has tried to prove he’s right, some of those times have been more recently than we’d care to admit, but we are getting better, we think. We’re a work in progress as is every human being out there who is making the effort to be a better human being. What if we are right and can prove it, though, then what? Good question and the discussion next time will focus on that. Stay tuned!
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“How can I get better at persuading people rather than bullying them with my point of view?”
Copyright 2014 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.