A friend of mine made a statement a few weeks ago and the more I think about it, the more I believe he's on to something. Pride is the root of every argument. No matter what the issue is, there is an element of pride in play. Is this true for you? I know it is for me. Arguing and debating are fun. When I was growing up, my parents used to tease me saying I'd make a great lawyer. My point of view is consistently the best one out there. Haven't you heard?
We run into issues when we value being right more than doing the right thing. When my wife and I get into an argument, I quickly lose my focus of having a listening ear while being loving and caring. Instead, I need her to know I am right – no matter the cost. I go "all in" on my opinion and figure if I can sell myself then I should be able to sell everyone else. The danger lies when the lines between right and wrong blur and we rely on our pride to guide us. Would you rather be wrong or do the wrong thing?
What do we equate with being wrong? Weakness, losing, inadequacy, ignorance, mediocrity, being viewed as uninformed, and the list goes on. Who wants any of those labels? Not me. I think that as we age and mature, being wrong becomes less threatening. We tend to get more comfortable with who we are – our strengths and our weaknesses. Being wrong doesn't scare us as much. I function the best when I take a step back and consider what is being said. Sometimes I come to my senses and remember that there are multiple ways to solve a problem, address an issue, or achieve a goal. My way isn't the highway to enlightenment.
The next time you get into an argument take a step back and check yourself. Investigate to see where pride may be getting in the way. Once you identify It, jump back in with humility and work together for a balanced solution. Happy arguing!