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Being Right
April 3, 2006
3:26 pm
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gingerleigh
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I have met many people who just need to be right. Heck, sometimes I just need to be right too. Why is that? What is it about the human psyche that makes us cling so hard to the idea of being right, or someone else being wrong?

If you had the choice to be right or to be happy, what would you choose?

I think that a lot of people would say that they would rather be happy, in theory, but in practice, it seems like most people would rather be right, even at the expense of growth and harmony. It seems like it's a really hard thing to say "I was wrong".

Why is this?

April 3, 2006
3:31 pm
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Lets explore that. Say something thats wrong on purpose and mean it when you say it. Pretend you really did think that way. As to what that thing is, I dont know.... let me know if you dont have any ideas, I'll try to think of some.

I'd be HAPPY if I had the choice.

Are you refering to something thats going on this site? If so I understand your point. If not, explain what are you refering to?

And lastly... I'm always right.. ya hear me? Just kidding 🙂 heh.

April 3, 2006
3:45 pm
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gingerleigh
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I'm not referring directly to anything on this site, although I do see it manifest here. Mostly I see it at work. So I'm guessing that it's fairly universal, and thought it would be an interesting topic to discuss "intellectual-like" on Libs.

April 3, 2006
4:03 pm
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Its easy to accept a mistake when you let it go and surrender to what makes sense.

I think its the fear that if we accept we were wrong, it'll crash everything else down too - so you want to continue being right incase your fortress is infiltrated and you hear from others or yourself "ha! you were wrong last time. You're wrong ALL the time".

In that situation, if you stick to being rational, its easy to make a mistake and admit it, but defend later other things that you do which DO make sense.

If you seperate the issue and the person, you'll be able to see whats right. Oh this is great: Its more important to see WHATS right, than to see WHO's right.

Hows that for inspiration. This is a nice saying, I'll put it in my journal. There's a small collection of quotes I have, which I've made up myself.

April 3, 2006
4:08 pm
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eve
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I think that it may have to do with the "there is no third way" paradigm.

We are very much used to black-and-white thinking.

> if you are not for me, you must be against me.

> If I don't win I must loose.

> If I'm not right I'm wrong.

> If I can't love you, I'll hate you

> You have to take sides

There is no concept of a third possibility in our minds, and we often end up zooming in at a quite small problem, just because we can't see the third possibility.

>> Maybe if you are not for me, you could help me to find out how I could become better?

>> If I don't win, maybe it will be for the best of all of us?

>> If I'm not right, I will surely learn something out of this.

>> If I can't love you, maybe I can respect you and leave you alone?

>> You don't have to take sides, often you have to take a step back and change perspectives

If somebody plays this win/loose game, it is very difficult to snap out of it and get some distance. Most difficult, if it is myself doing it 🙂

April 3, 2006
4:18 pm
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Just to mention that, the black and white thinking is a sign of dysfunction. I'm guilty of that as well, for example, she loves me, she loves me not.

Now again it would be black and white to say we are dysfunctional ALL the times. Its just that some times we are feeling good and sometimes not.

April 4, 2006
7:42 am
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Hi, Twinks.
As I see it, when kids (or anyone) have little or no self-esteem, & see themselves as 'thick' too, the challenge of making big changes (even ones of self-perception) is just too much. Overwhelming. It is far easier, & therefore 'comforting' to remain where one is - which may be a miserable place, but at least is predictable; so there remains a certain sense of personal control. Same bad behaviour - same result. 'Power'.

But facing all the things one needs to change, to work on, to improve, can seem just too much. And then, if one should fail to live up to expectations, then the last shred of rug is pulled from underneath & there is no ego left even to defend.

I've worked with troubled teenagers in & out of schools too, in the past. The biggest challenge, in my view, is in inspiring self- confidence & self-empowerment in a way that doesn't over-burden a fragile ego with expectations they feel they cannot consistently live up to. Perhaps step-by-step ('12-step'?)mini-goals seem less threatening than grand, life-changing biggies?

When we're at rock bottom, we lack the emotional / spiritual / psych energy to make creative changes take on new risks of failure. I know I do!

Don't we all so often cling to what I call "the comfort of familiar misery" to the terrifying, ego-threatening challenge of change?

We prefer, as Hamlet said: "to bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know n ot of"!

Please post more about your presentation & its reception, & any positive conclusions etc, Twinks. Best of luck to you! Blessings - gazelle.

April 4, 2006
10:50 am
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eve
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twinks, do you know the book(s?) of Dinkmeyer, e.g. 'Skills of Encouragement'? I don't know if this is the same book that I read (it was a German translation), but I found his ideas helpful.

But it is not always the 'underdogs' that get carried away with being right, or are they?

I think sometimes we put a lot of our eggs in one basket, and then we are stuck with fighting for this one thing, even if some of the crackier or of the oldest eggs in the basket may begin to smell kind of funny. Its just very difficult to rearange the mind around the fact that the things we know and think we knew are constantly changeing.

April 4, 2006
10:59 am
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I may be a good case of wanting to be right! Considering what happened on the boards recently. You guys are free to "dissect" this incident and study me :p. I give you permission. Feel free to say what you want, especially if its about me. I take failure as a stepping stone, not a stumbling block.

Who will be brave and rational enough so that even I would learn a lesson from it? Now that would be interesting.

Or is it that I'm not a good case of being right and maybe I was just OK - in that case disregard what I said.

Oh eve, I think I felt in 'Flow' during the conflict. Time passed quickly and it felt good at times. It reminds me of one of the Wounded child symtoms - feeling 'alive' in a conflict.

But thats only sometimes you know, at other times I'm doing OK and I feel alive just being myself.

April 4, 2006
11:12 am
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eve
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Yeah, guest.

I recall that I have felt very much alive and daring in conflict situations, too.

But I also remember how badly hurt I was at school or in the playground, when other kids stated openly (or in a way that I couldn't help to overhear) that they would not want to play with me (or my friend). I guess that is very traumatic when we are young and vulnerable and just want to fit in and be accepted. So it can come as a giant relief, to be able to have a conflict and stand up squarely to it and face it. But don't forget to pamper the little child who would love to play peacefully with the crowd 🙂

April 4, 2006
1:45 pm
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gingerleigh
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In my job, I have to be able to see both sides of an issue (or all three, or four, or...) My challenge comes when I have all of the information, need to make a decision, and at the same time, get everyone with similar and differing opinions to be "on board" with the decision that I've made. I've had some really encouraging results with some people who dug in their heels over a particular issue, but then with time and explanation, were able to see an alternate side. But others just refuse to see the benefits of doing things in a different way, and insist on clinging to old beliefs and old ways of doing things, throwing out barbs and dragging their feet every step of the way, making it hard on everyone.

I'm at a point where I don't even want to come to work most days now. I hope that this gets better soon.

April 4, 2006
6:51 pm
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Twinks, thanks! I liked the recommendations and I got the book. I hope I read it.

So it seems like it helps the most if we understand a mental health concept more if we've already thought about it or have accepted that it works. Then when we reach out, it sinks in more. Makes sense, hmm.

___eve, I'm trying to pamper myself but am not successful! I'm eating these celery sticks and they're kinda bitter. Eating carrots too in hope of sliming my tummy.

April 5, 2006
8:32 am
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eve
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Ginger,

this sounds truely stressful. I'll be on a seminar concerning change management and project managment soon, and hope to bring home some ideas that'll help me in this respect.

Do you think this resistance is because of technical reasons, or is is a power struggle (let's see who can decide what here)?

For the power struggle I guess you'd need a different approach, technical reasons should yield to patient reasoning.

April 7, 2006
2:44 pm
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eve
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"But others just refuse to see the benefits of doing things in a different way, and insist on clinging to old beliefs and old ways of doing things"

I've read somewhere that it might help to also talk openly about the negative aspects of the new ways. This source said that oftentimes people just need to have their doubts acnowledged, and they need know that their boss is aware that it is not all rosy and wonderful, but has also negative effects for the employees (more work, insecurities when trying out new things, bigger risk of mistakes in the beginning).

But in my experience there are some people who are extremely resistant to everything. I' glad that we don't have mayor problems here. We had them where I worked before, and I was amazed by how stubbornly grown, highly educated people could act. Still glad I got out of there.

April 7, 2006
2:44 pm
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eve
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"But others just refuse to see the benefits of doing things in a different way, and insist on clinging to old beliefs and old ways of doing things"

I've read somewhere that it might help to also talk openly about the negative aspects of the new ways. This source said that oftentimes people just need to have their doubts acnowledged, and they need know that their boss is aware that it is not all rosy and wonderful, but has also negative effects for the employees (more work, insecurities when trying out new things, bigger risk of mistakes in the beginning).

But in my experience there are some people who are extremely resistant to everything. I' glad that we don't have mayor problems here. We had them where I worked before, and I was amazed by how stubbornly grown, highly educated people could act. Still glad I got out of there.

April 8, 2006
2:21 am
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This is a Great thread. Sorry I wont go into who said what - But I have had Black and White thinking ringing through my head all week. B/W thinking, resistance to change or/and being Right. All of it all week and my last decade or so.

Oh and insecurities when trying new things. I have had problems with people being insecure For me. Stubborn resistance to my right to personal growth. The words -personal growth- brought forth Humfff's. Hu yah right! Of course that one came from the same individuals who took the older child I was talking to 5 minutes earlier and swung the conversation right into the latrine. I would have read that as an open act of spitefulness if I did not know that. that sort of behavior was Normal for the individuals.

And-Hmmm? None of my post is about anyone at aac. I have noticed a number of individuals in my life that are so intent on snapping an answer out about many things that I get the impression that they are on the edge of their seats or under some form of inward pressure. Right or wrong ( Right of course:)/ black or white. Here it comes. Their answer. Powww ! Insecurity must play a part in that. But I get the impression that it is almost a Social Template. ? For lack of better words. 🙂 Could it have something to do with perceived status of the person giving the answer ? Sort of like they see themselves as being in a leadership postition and are require to have a pat answer ???

Please . Anyone that can expand on any of this. I would love to hear it. Part of the goals for my art and several hobbies will be using it to show people of any age the world around them and making new experiences painless. On my own terms as an individual acting as a shield to take the power away from stagnant cliques and small town politics and give individuals or small groups a fun exprience with nature that they can enjoy.

April 8, 2006
11:41 am
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Worried_Dad
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"My challenge comes when I have all of the information, need to make a decision, and at the same time, get everyone with similar and differing opinions to be "on board" with the decision that I've made."

I really like that observation, Ginger. Sometimes I will be in the position of mediating a dispute, and dissappoint people by not giving a "he's wrong, she's right" answer. I am way of the P for perceiving end of the Meyers-Briggs scale reather than at the J for judging end.

Having said all that, it is also true that being right is the most important thing in the whole world.

April 8, 2006
12:53 pm
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Sometimes, being wrong, and admitting it, can be a good opportunity for growth.

April 9, 2006
8:30 am
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Well it feels good to be right and be able to tell someone you're right when they come around to see you as right.

But...when you believe you to be right and then to have your opinion disseminated, dismantled, torn to shreds becasue someone believes they are right...what do you get? Locked horns. Black and white. Not thinking outside of the box. An urge to prove one's self even stronger of one's point to prove it....a vicious circle, nothing gets resolved. and you just have to hum a tune and walk away.

But a good argument can be fun, or not. Seems a waste of time if both parties are fixated on being one-side with only their opinions.

Interesting thread.

Bottom line; when I know I am right and argument persues, it is not worth trying to explain yourself. I get tired of explaining myseslf sometimes...just do it; arguing does not change it.

It does seems some of "we" people were able to detect the interesting things here of late....Scrolling For (trolls)Caution.

Sew

April 9, 2006
8:36 am
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Twinks

No, not a chicken; maybe a chickie!

EF, guest and you and I had it. There are other things I wonder about, but not worth mentioning;)

Sew

April 10, 2006
11:13 am
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eve
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>>Bottom line; when I know I am right and argument persues, it is not worth trying to explain yourself. < This might also apply to your situation Ginger. Will your boss back you, when the decision is made, but people just don't stick to it? Do you have enough authority to make people do things your way (or can you get it from one level higher, if necessary). If you have to tough out this fight alone and if there won't be any consequences for people you won't yield to reasoning you don't have a chance. You can just bring it to your boss - this is the situation, I've tried this, that and that, and I need your authority to make the decision stick.

April 10, 2006
12:35 pm
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Hi Eve. I'm lucky in that I have a really good boss, for most things. The biggest problem that I have is that he might be a little bit too forthcoming with information about other coworkers to me. In particular, there is one person on our team (my peer) who is clearly not performing well and is bringing down the rest of the team. I've tried to help him, but he is crafty, and as such rather than letting me help him, he somehow manages to wiggle around and let his work slide off him and onto me! My boss has seen him do this (also his boss) and so has told me that actions are being taken, but that we must be very careful in how we do things because this other person is in his late fifties and my boss is worried that if we fire him, this other guy will sue the company for... get this... age discrimination! Now if I had been pulling the same kind of crap, I would have been fired years ago, since I'm "young" and could "easily" find another job somewhere else.

What does this have to do with the "being right" thread? Probably not much, I'm just venting. I think it's my issue right now, that I have to be right, that the rest of the world must see what an idiot this guy is and fire him. But why? Who cares? Why should I get myself so riled up over it? I really should only worry about myself. What makes it hard is that I get a lot of complaints about this guy, as though I'm responsible for him just because we're on the same team. Oooh, codependency raises its ugly little head, even at work, eh? Bah.

April 10, 2006
12:54 pm
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eve
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Ginger, he doesn't have to agree that you are right. He just has to do his job. And this includes that he does things the way that they should be done, if he works for your project, he doesn't have to like it, but he has to do it.
If he doesn't, you'll propably be able to document that he is not honouring his contract.

Over 50 or no this is no excuse for being a nuisance.

April 10, 2006
1:08 pm
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sleepless in uk
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Twinks...not only did you know you were right about Zee zee...but i really thought you were right and was really amused by that dyslexic thing you had going with her....only trouble was i wasnt confident enough to say and was scared i was wrong and would hurt her feelings

and i thought the way you handled her was dead clever.....

April 10, 2006
5:28 pm
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sleepless in uk
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the angrier she got eh?

had no trouble with the word Bollo*ks!!!

at least it gave me a smile

cheers for that

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