Why I Am Trying to Let People Say They are Right … and Get On With My Life
I am egotistical — I admit it. The me 5 to 6 years ago was a typical fresh graduate, trying to prove to the world that I matter. That is still true of me today but very toned down. I have a nasty habit of being sensitive to criticisms and tend to argue like it’s no tomorrow. After working for 6 years now, I tend to just keep quiet and don’t say anything when my boss is berating me for nothing. I just proceed with “I am wrong, you are right” and get on with my life. I finish my work and clock out exactly at 5. Somedays, I am angry and frustrated but that is becoming rarer.
Everyone’s situation is different. There are a couple of reasons why I don’t really care about arguing anymore. I remembered reading Keanu Reeves’s quote on this and it resonated well with me.
“I’m at that stage in life where I stay out of discussions. Even if you say 1+1=5, you’re right — have fun.” — Keanu Reeves
I want to just fold my sleeves and get to doing. Words are just words. They mean nothing without action.
Alright, I am not saying you shouldn’t argue. I am saying that there are many people in this world who just want to tell you they are right, and they will do everything to pull you down and beat you unconscious. I myself felt insecure at one point and felt the need to “protect” my pride. As I grow older, these things don’t matter. The more bosses I work with, the more I see that people get more and more insecure, and feel the need to belittle their subordinates and make themselves feel “better”. Some are bad, but some are great too. The great ones understand where you are coming from, and push and guide you to be better. The bad ones think about themselves and how you are nothing without them.
It’s a throw of the dice meeting these people. To this, I have started to just think past it when I meet such people. I give them the nod, tell them they are right, and go on my way. There is just too little time in my life to be spent dealing with them. In meetings, I just shut up and only speak up when necessary to ensure that everyone is on the same page. I prefer to spend my time building and investing in myself and the people around me, rather than engage in meaningless discussions. Whenever bosses or other people are just screwing me because they want to prove they are right, I just smile and tell them “You are right. I am wrong”.
It’s much more manageable and healthy for my mind to let go
You might be thinking that you need to stand your ground in matters that are important and not just let people have their way. I totally agree with you. What I am saying is that there are a lot of things that people will try to get you to believe that is important but in reality, it is not. I have learned that there are many occasions where I thought some things were important, but only so because someone else led me to believe they were so.
My trick is that in 1 year’s time, will I even think about these things? Will they even matter? When I do that, a lot of things went away and I decided to let go. There are many things in other people’s lives that they think are important, and my advice is to just think past it and consider whether they really matter to YOU and the people around you. If not, let people go about their way and let go of it.
I want to be focused on the bigger picture.
Straw man. It is an argument tactic that is used to take one unimportant point and try to make your opponents’ arguments invalid. I have seen this so many times in corporate. There are many people who do this. The more I see them, the more I think that corporate is just one big fest of people flinging their “thing” around and being the “loudest person in the room”. They will take the smallest of things and magnify it to the biggest thing that they can, and be drama queens about it. Very few will actually look at the bigger picture, and consider the appropriate actions.
That’s what I want to be. Everytime I am pulled into every little small petty conflict, I just think to myself what is the bigger picture here. I let people ramble on and fling their “thing” around and quietly exit the meeting or discussion whenever possible if there really is no point to it. The bigger picture for me is to focus on what’s important, getting things done, and contributing to the people around me. The rest are just noise, which I am happy to let go of and say “You are right”.