My 11-year-old son hates it when I’m right. Which is pretty much always. At that age, their brains just can’t fathom that they don’t know everything. I find it highly amusing to watch that moment of realization cross his face only to be quickly replace by stubborn defiance.
If I’m being honest, I do love being right. If you argue with me about something that can actually be proven, like where we parked the car for example, 99 times out of 100 I’m going to be right. Because I only argue when I’m sure. If I’m not sure where we parked the car, I just say so (which is most of the time). If I’m sure, you should probably just go with it.
I also win a majority of arguments regarding things that can’t be proven (for the record, I call them discussions, but most people call them arguments). For the bulk of my life I thought that meant I was right. But really, it only meant I had more evidence I could present to prove my case, and the other person didn’t have enough evidence to refute it. It actually had nothing at all to do with being right.
Our brains love to be right. They will search far and wide for evidence to prove they’re right. They will even create evidence just to be right. Even if being right is detrimental.
For example, if I think my husband doesn’t love me, my brain will go to work finding evidence that this is true. It will look at all the things he does or doesn’t do, all the things he says or doesn’t say. It will focus only on the things that prove the thought right, and ignore anything that doesn’t. Then, it will even find ways to create evidence. Let’s say my husband doesn’t do anything for our anniversary. I make that mean that he doesn’t love me. That thought makes me feel hurt. When I feel hurt, I pull away and distance myself from him. And when I do that, not only am I not loving him, I’m also acting in a way that is more likely to provide me more evidence that he doesn’t love me. My brain just went out of its way to create more evidence to prove itself right — even though that thought is extremely painful to me.
When your brain has found a lot of evidence for something, it feels like a fact. You’re just making an observation of how the world is. It’s not even something you would question. It just is.
But what if you’re wrong?
What if that thing you think is a fact, is really just a thought? And what if it’s wrong?
What if my husband loves me more than I could ever know? What if I’m beautiful exactly as I am right now? What if my weight is completely neutral and I don’t need to lose a single pound? What if all the things I think make me an inferior mom are actually the exact things that make me an amazing mom for my particular children? What if getting divorced was the best thing that could have ever happened to me? What if money is easy and you can have as much as of it as you want? What if your spouse having an addiction isn’t the end of the world?
Wouldn’t it be amazing to be wrong?
Guys, I love being right. But I love being wrong even more. I love it when I find those hidden thoughts that have been causing me problems, without me even realizing it, and I neutralize them. Because they’re just thoughts, not facts. And I can believe anything I want to.
Be willing to be wrong! Because being wrong is the best thing ever.