You Were Right

“You were right.”

I have a friend who says that’s his favorite thing to hear. I think most of us could admit we like being told that.

Being right satisfies us on two levels. The first is pretty obvious – it makes us feel smart, competent, and trustworthy.

Add to that, as humans we’re strongly motivated to find consensus. When we’re in agreement with people, it satisfies that part of us that needs to belong to the tribe in order to be secure.

In pursuit of consensus, one of two things happens. We try to convince people they’re wrong and we’re right.

Or we give up our opinions and agree with others, superficially anyway, in order to achieve that consensus.

The former is usually not very productive, and the latter breeds resentment and dependence.

Fortunately, there’s a different better approach.

The Better Approach

Let people be right.

That doesn’t mean you have to agree with them. You can be right too. Consensus is not required. We don’t need to be part of the tribe anymore.

But it so happens that when you let people be right, and you get to be right too, the level of connection increases and more than makes up for the lack of consensus.

This may seem like a passive or weak way to live. If you try it though, you’ll see that it’s anything but. It takes a certain amount of fortitude to be comfortable in the face of disagreement. But when you master it, there is real power in it.

You may be wondering what any of this has to do with drinking.

Think about how much of your drinking is driven by stress. And relationship issues – with spouses, coworkers, kids, parents – are one of the biggest sources of stress. This may be especially true now if you’re in lockdown for an extended period with your family.

So anything you can do to get along with people more easily, the less stress you’ll have. And that’s a good thing.

You’re right.

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