I was recently with Steve Scanlon CEO of Rewire, Inc. Steve has a company that specializes in Emotional Intelligence and transforming our Lizard Brains. They work on transformation and positive change made possible through understanding the surprising truth about what motivates us and then teaching how to rewire the way we think.
We were discussing a tendency that a lot of us men have, and that is having to be right a majority of the time. Steve shared a story with me about a conversation he had with a client years ago.
There was a husband and wife at the grocery store. She was going to put a bottle of mustard in the cart when her husband stopped her. He stated, “We don’t need any mustard. We have at at least 2 bottles at home. Put it back.” She said, “It’s no big deal it’s only mustard.” He said, “We don’t need it. Put it back.” She said, “It’s only a few dollars, what will it hurt to have extra?” He demanded that she put the mustard back on the shelf.
She abruptly left the grocery store and went to the car. He met her in the car. When he got there she was crying and told him she wanted a divorce.
When they got home the husband went to the refrigerator and not only were there 2 bottles of mustard in the refrigerator, but there were 3. He had been vindicated.
This couple actually did get divorced. The problem obviously was a lot more than just a bottle of mustard, but it does hit the point of how much does it cost to be right all the time?
I am sure you have met people that even when they know they are wrong they are right. I know I have. I have also met people that can never lose an argument. They always have to have the last word even when they realize they are wrong.
I wonder how many marriages, relationships and friendships are destroyed over time by these mustard type arguments? When you realize you are in an argument like the mustard argrument, and it does not matter if you win or lose, what do you do?
Get past being right. The first step is to realize you are arguing over something that in the scheme of things really does not matter and stop the argument. I am sure the husband in this story thought many times of how much the arguments over bottles of mustard cost him with losing his wife and not being with his children.
Admit you are wrong when you are wrong. This can be hard on the pride, but is losing someone’s respect and friendship worth not being able to admit you are wrong?
Apologize. It you have hurt your spouse, children, family or friends apologize and let them know you are sincerely sorry.
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