Do you choose to be kind or right?
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We were reminded of this truism a few days ago as we listened to someone – who had better remain nameless (!) – describing in great detail how they’d recently “put someone right”. We won’t go into details but are sure you’ve listened to similar stories in the past. And, probably, secretly commiserated with the person unlucky enough to be on the receiving end of such unsolicited advice.
However, it didn’t stop there, but was followed by great indignation when their comments weren’t well received. In fact, you could say that they got a dose of their own medicine (!).
And, as an aside, isn’t it ironic that those who are best at handing out advice – in all its different forms – are so bad at taking it?!?
Anyway, before we digress much further, it was a good reminder that life isn’t always about being right.
Being right is another one of those tricks the little Monster in our head uses to make us feel better about ourselves. After all if we’re right then, by definition, the other person must be wrong. Which then means that we’re somehow “better” than them.
But have you noticed what a bad taste this leaves in your mouth? How any initial high is quickly replaced by an uncomfortable feeling – or one of embarrassment – at what you’ve just said?
Both are signs that you can never truly feel better at the expense of someone else. And that the little Monster was in charge, rather than the real you.
Of course there are times when it’s necessary to point out that someone else is wrong. Perhaps when they’re about to do something that’s likely to physically hurt them or those around them.
However, most of the time, this isn’t the case. It’s simply about making a choice. Whether to be kind or right.
Being human is all about making mistakes. Some we’re aware of, some we’re not. And, whether we like it or not, mistakes are the only way we learn to do things better.
Being kind recognises that none of us is perfect. We all make mistakes at times.
While we may express it differently, we all want the same thing in our day to day lives. Easy and positive interactions – sorry, we can’t think of a better word (!) – with other people.
A little kindness, building people up and making them feel better about themselves helps to smooth the way. And, in the process, creates a positive outcome out of a potentially disastrous situation.
By contrast, needing to be “right” leaves everyone feeling miserable and embarrassed.
So which do you choose today?
As always, the choice is yours.
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