Yesterday, I was reading an article about the two things that foster a healthy relationship – kindness and generosity. It was a very interesting article and I started thinking that these two things are important in all our relationships, not just our romantic ones. Which led me to me today’s blog. It’s more important to be kind than right.
I enjoy being right. It’s part biology and part sociology. There was a standing joke in our family about our dad always being right. Someone even bought him a plaque once that said “I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken”. Many discussions (and game nights) morphed into an argument over who was right. My default position was “I’m right and will prove it… at any cost”. You can imagine how fun that made me.
It has only been the past few years that I have come to understand the cost of being right. So often to be right, we have to be cruel. You know what I mean. You and a friend/significant other/family member/co-worker are having a discussion and it quickly devolves into who is right and who is wrong. Obviously you are convinced that you are right or you wouldn’t be defending your view point. And when you hit the tipping point of the argument, you must make a choice. Do you want to leave the field of battle a winner, or put the other person’s feelings and beliefs first? For someone who only learned how to fight to win it has been a daily decision.
I remember a few years ago I was in the car with my sister, An and her kids. The kids were having one of these lovely sibling “I’m right and you’re wrong” fights which had spiraled into you’re wrong cause you’re dumb. Being a paragon of virtue, I took this opportunity to explain to them that it isn’t as important to be right if it means hurting the other person. It was a pretty good discussion and I was rather proud of myself. Until 5 minutes later when I was on the phone yelling at a vendor for being an idiot and messing up a lighting delivery. I hung up the phone and An bust out laughing. “So it’s better to be kind than right huh?” Sheepish face……
Obviously, my journey to being a kind person is still in progress and this is something I constantly have to work on. I’m getting better at in my personal relationships but find it more challenging at work. So every morning I hope to get a little better at it than the day before. There might even be a day or two where I manage to live on the kind side.
*Dedicating this post to my older sister, who is the most genuinely kind human being I have ever had the privilege of knowing*
Here is the article if you are interested in reading it. Business Insider Article