The Joy of Not Having to Be Right

 

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It’s so liberating and empowering! When I feel myself struggling to explain my view and wanting so bad to be right, I remember I still need to practice acceptance. So I switch to understanding mode.

I consider that, as Billy Joel would say: “I may be right.”, but then again, “I may be Crazy.”

Take Twitter for example. Many of you know I am a Twitter (and other Social Media, for that matter) enthusiast. I wasn’t always that way, though. Once I was more of the Mr. Becky opinion, thinking Twitter was a definite waste of precious time. I had tried it briefly and hated it, deciding I had much better things to do with my already scarce time available. But then one day, as I was reading about the millions of people on Twitter and listening to some people on LinkedIN that I had learned to respect, talk of it’s wonders, it dawned on me:

Was I right about this and millions of people, wrong (or just plain stupid)?

I realized that was a pretty smug and righteous position to take.  There was clearly something about the phenomenon that I still didn’t understand. Why were people drawn to it? Was it really important what someone was doing now, or having for breakfast? What was the allure? Just a mind-numbing experience or a breathrough game-changer?

A little fueled by my interest in being included and a little by the curiosity the previous questions brought up for me, I decided to give it one more go with a different perspective. One of the practices I was including in my upcoming book, Otheresteem was acceptance and this seemed like a good chance to walk my talk. In this case, it meant moving to understanding why others enjoy this. Seeking to understand. Supposing that not ALL of the millions were stupid, and some may even be smarter than I! 😀

So I put myself on a Twitter “diet” just as I had previously done on LinkedIN (though, being so very “professional” and “down to business” I admit I loved the ANSWERS section and GROUPs there almost immediately)

The diet consisted of daily doses of 15 minutes every day on Twitter, to experience it. Whether I enjoyed it or not. Thus began my journey every morning. I tweeted interesting links. Followed as many people as I could keep up with (I figured at the time, 10 was about it) and hated most of it. Then, I started asking about all the stuff I didn’t understand (What’s a RT?, Why #FF?, What’s interesting about repeating what someone else says?, Why did you thank me?, What made you want to follow me? and many others that came up each day) So with my newfound knowledge, I created a stricter diet:

  • 5 minutes of looking at the full timeline with more and more interesting people in it (following anyone who’s tweets looked like something I wanted to be reading)
  • 5 minutes of connecting, conversing, addressing others
  • 5 minutes of sharing my message, ideas, information of value.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Now I am a Twitter enthusiast. I currently follow 4114 people and am followed by 5407 if you count both my Twitter accounts (@monedays to tweet in English and @monediaz in Spanish). I love every minute I spend there, though it’s not always 15 a day and I finally understand what I am doing on Twitter and why so many people rave about it.

If you know me at all, you know that I am not always in agreement with the crowd and I am kind of weird that way. So, I may have decided it wasn’t for me once I understood why others enjoy it, like so many other tastes I just don’t share with the mainstream. But, boy, am I glad I tried this one out! I was definitely not right about it. And I now have actual friends to add to my life (contrary to popular belief I already had a rich social life before Social Media 😉 ), business ventures, idea sharing, an upcoming book written with wonderful women and many, many more things to be thankful for.

And one of them is the sheer joy of not having to be right!

If you are on Twitter, remember this and every Wednesday to tweet about valuing others more. You can join the Stream of Otheresteem by using the hashtag #OtherEsteem. Raise awareness. Create Momentum. Build your otheresteem “muscle”!

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You May Be Right.

When you are angry and arguing with someone it is easy to see them as the bad party, the one that is wrong (versus my right) and the one being stubborn. Surely, you can find grounds to justify any or all of these points of view! Being right is so important to us because it means we are competent and also that we are not being unfair or stubborn ourselves. But think again: does it really matter? So many times we get into difficulties with others over who’s right.  Many of times, like the trial scene in the movie Crimson Tide, both are wrong and both are right. Of course we can see how we are right, because we come to that conclusion from the information we have and the perceptions that information has created for us!

But if we are to value the other person and work through our differences, there is another thing to consider: How they may be right as well.

Our mind, driven by our emotions and need to self-justify, will focus on ways in which they are wrong. It takes willpower to move a little beyond that (I usually laugh at myself a bit, by remembering the line from Billy Joel‘s You May Be Right: “You may be right, I may be crazy” or “you may be wrong, for all I know, but you may be right.”). It helps me to refocus on the other. At least from where she is standing, there are ways in which she is right! If I can listen to those, seriously try to figure them out, I can value the other as an individual  that thinks and behaves differently from me. I can see a different viewpoint and set of information that paints a whole different story.

This doesn’t mean I will agree with everyone, or allow them to hurt me, belittle me or damage me in any way. Only that I can appreciate them for who they are and what their current train of thought is. That I can see where they come from and how they reach conclusions so different from mine. I can move away from needing to be right to understanding how we both have different worldviews.  I can value them when we do not see eye to eye. We can agree to disagree and even to take different roads, without the need to discredit eachother.

Refreshing, don’t you think?

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