I don’t know about you, but most people really don’t like to be wrong. I am beginning to learn not to get attached to how what I have to say is understood or received. Can you remember the last time you had a heated argument with someone? How did you feel afterwards? Most often arguments lead nowhere. When it appears that you are losing an argument, you become unhappy. You develop some dislike for the other party. Even after the duel, you may continue to have mental dialogues about what you should have said.
On the other hand, can one really win an argument? Recently, I watched as two men had a heated argument over something both had no control over, and which was of no importance to their lives. I have also witnessed married couples struggling to prove their case.
Trying to win an argument creates a lot of unnecessary stress. Even when your intention is to correct an obvious misconception, heated arguments are counterproductive. The need to be right and the need to make other person to be wrong pushes people away from you. People are defensive and the more you disagree with someone, the more defensive he or she becomes.
When you find yourself in a heated argument, when you have that urge to be right, calm down, listen, (not with that attitude of, ‘I already know you are wrong’!), and try seeing the other person’s point of view. I have come to practice this strategy, and I find it more uplifting.
Just listening to the other person’s point of view brings him or her closer to you and moreover, you may even learn something new! When you are willing to listen to people, they feel a sense of value, and would more likely want to listen to you and get closer to you. Do not prolong an argument. In this way you can reduce unnecessary stress and maintain your sense of well-being.
Remember, being right does not always make us happy. Ask yourself, “Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?”