On Being Incredibly Wrong…

It sucks.

Done.

.

.

.

.

LOL! Actually, there’s more. Of course there is. This is me, we’re talking about. Why use three words when 1,500 will do?

LOL! Actually, there’s more. Of course there is. This is me, we’re talking about. Why use three words when 1,500 will do?

Actually, this is less about how it feels to be wrong (it sucks), but how that feeling shapes our behavior and our lives for good or ill.

Everyone I know find being wrong an uncomfortable feeling at best.

At worst, it’s, well, sucky.

Really sucky.

And yet, I find the people around me tend to sort into two types:

  • People who hate being wrong and will do anything to avoid it.
  • People who hate being wrong over and over and over again and will do anything to avoid that.

And while those may seem like the same person, the actions and behaviors that go with each type are incredibly different.

People who hate being wrong and will do anything to avoid it.

These people are (in my experience) characterized by denial and blame. They will do anything to avoid being wrong, including denying they were wrong, and blaming everyone else for their failures.

They don’t look too closely at what went wrong, or listen too carefully, because, well, they might find out they were wrong, and that is just unacceptable.

They find themselves repeating the same patterns over and over again, looking for different outcomes, because, well, they WERE NOT WRONG.

Everyone else was.

They don’t like to ask for advice, because being ignorant is pretty damn close to being wrong, and that’s too close for comfort.

And, if they ask for advice and find a new way of doing things, they may have to face the fact that they have been wrong so many times before, and they’d rather not risk facing that.

People who hate being wrong over and over and over again and will do anything to avoid that.

In my experience, these people hate being wrong even more than those previous folk.

So much so, that they want to learn when they are wrong as quickly (and sometimes brutally) as possible, so they can learn the lesson and NOT BE WRONG AGAIN.

At least in that way.

They know they are going to be wrong.

And they hate that.

But they will do everything they can to avoid being the same wrong multiple times.

This often means, they examine things that went bad, and look for ways they could have done things differently.

They listen to others’ thoughts about what they did wrong, so they understand how not to repeat that.

They ask for (and go in search of) advice and information on how to do things more effectively, so they can stop being as wrong as they were before, and they understand better how their wrongness was causing them trouble.

And something interesting I’ve noticed…

People who hate being wrong and will do anything to avoid it tend to also hate when others are wrong, and take great delight in pointing it out, and in running those scenarios over and over in their heads for years, even decades to come.

“Yeah, I made my mistakes (note, there is rarely any specificity here), but THEY did this incredibly detailed and specific horrible thing (often exaggerated to the point of hyperbole) 8 years ago on May 3 at 9:17pm.”

Whereas people who hate being wrong over and over and over again and will do anything to avoid that tend to understand that human nature is to make mistakes and give people credit for making those mistakes and learning from them and growing, and will support most people, no matter how wrong, if they just show some sign (and back that up with actions) that they want to be more right in the future.

I’ve also noticed that people who hate being wrong and will do anything to avoid it often end up not only repeating the same patterns over and over again through their lives, but because they get SO MUCH BETTER at those patterns every time, they repeat them harder and faster and more spectacularly.

While people who hate being wrong over and over and over again and will do anything to avoid that tend to move forward into the future trying new things and making new mistakes. Sometimes spectacular (hey, we all get lucky), and sometimes, not so. But it’s always an adventure and a learning experience.

What are your thoughts?

Of course, I’m not suggesting that any human is perfectly one or the other of these. I’m guessing if you (I) dig down, we will find our points of stubborn wrong-headedness and our areas where we grow and excel.

  • Do you see yourself in either (or both) of these examples?
  • Do you see others?
  • How does it make you feel when someone you love refuses to be wrong?
  • How does it make you feel to know you have refused to be wrong in exactly the same way at some point, and made another feel that way?

Image by bernswaelz from Pixabay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *