However, a couple of Sundays ago I was reminded of an even better feeling than being right about sentence structure in a blog: Being wrong. My Washington Redskins have an absolutely ABYSMAL record against the St. Louis Rams. Lots of history there, almost all of it bad for us. I thought for sure that we were going to lose, and then we didn't. Every time that we would make a play, I told myself that it was an aberration and that an interception was coming on the next play (which turned out to be four days later). By the time we got to the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, I realized that we really were going to win, and it was fantastic. I was dead wrong and yet felt so alive!
The best thing that you can be is wrong. If you weren't wrong, then you're as good as you're going to be. Being wrong means that things could possibly be infinitely better than you think.
Just a quick note on that while I have your attention: Please remember why you are arguing in the first place. What are you trying to accomplish? Picking where to eat dinner? Well, allergies excluded, what does that matter if the person sitting across from the table isn't talking to you the whole time? Yeah, you won the argument, but that Taco Bell doesn't taste so good now, does it? The taste of bad nachos are never worth the taste of victory. I should put that on a bumper sticker that I don't intend to sell many of.
I've found that the couples/people who get the most out of conflicts are the ones who are the most open to "being wrong" on the most topics. Believe it or not, sometimes we have a loyalty to our point of view only because it's our point of view. When you're spending the time during which someone else is talking just trying to think of a good response, then you're doing it wrong. What if, and I know that this is going to cause some sort of tear in the space-time continuum and Morpheus is going to come out and say "It's all a computer program, Mr. Anderson" and blow your mind, but what if the other person is right? And, stay with me here, what if the other person being wrong is actually to your advantage?
As humans, we have a natural urge to keep things the way that they are. The idea is that how things are have kept us alive thus far, so we're resistant to change. However, Just because you've thought that something is true for a long time doesn't make it anymore true. Think about your drive to work: You've taken the same route every day for how long, and while it may have been the fastest/best back when you started, it may not be now (yes, DelDOT does sometimes make things easier even if it takes a year or five). Someone, or your GPS, tells you that there's a faster route, but you want to stick with the one you know.
Most likely you will argue, whether it's with the person/GPS or with yourself, to stick with the route you're used to even though it's plain as day that the new route is better. This is something called cognitive dissonance. When you have a firm belief, and then you get evidence to the contrary, your mind can't take it, so it tends to stick with what that belief already was. Hundreds of years ago, people were burned at the stake when presented with evidence that the world wasn't flat. We also do this when justifying a purchase that we know that we shouldn't have. "Oh, I mean I know that most cars have brakes, but this one didn't come with it, and that's fine. It just gets me there faster." Or convincing yourself that being a Redskins fan isn't so bad. "Well, we were 4-12 this year, which is better than 3-13 last year, so I'd better buy tickets for the Super Bowl!"
Anyway, enough with the psych lesson. Back to other people being right and how that is a good thing. So you're presented with this new route to work, and you just bite the bullet and try it. Then something magical happens: Your boss doesn't yell at you for being late. In fact, you're ten minutes early. See? In this instance, you were wrong, and that's great. Maybe that restaurant that your wife wants to go to actually will be your favorite once you try it? Whenever you're surprised, that's an instance of being wrong, and it's often a really good thing. Like when the Redskins actually do pull off a last-minute touchdown to win the game even though you had already given up before the drive began. Sorry, the football analogies will taper off as our season does, which probably is in like three weeks. Though hopefully I'm wrong about that.
Anyway, be open to the idea of being. If you were right all the time, then you'd be stuck with where you are. Nothing could ever get better because you're already doing it the right way. Wouldn't that suck for THIS to be as good as it gets, no matter how good it is now? We always want tomorrow to be better than today, so dropping the ego and being open to the idea of being wrong may actually pay off. If you don't do that, then you're well on your way to becoming an old man/woman who doesn't need a new-fangled iPhone to watch the YouTubes on the Google because you're just fine how you are. Nobody wants to be like that, so get out there and try being wrong for a change, don't be that old man!
Now get off my lawn.