Some call it stubbornness or pig-headedness , a determination not to change your mind or attitude no matter what. Some admire this, especially on ethical grounds. Someone who will also do what’s right even in the face of danger or death is someone worthy of respect indeed. However, when does being stubborn become unreasonable? A tough question to answer, it would depend on the circumstances of each specific situation. There are however some rules we can follow. There are truly some things that should stand above all else. True courage is not letting our ego stand above them and wisdom is knowing what they are. For example:
- Safety and Security
By not letting another person have last word or win the argument we can damage our relationships, put our livelihoods at risk, ruin a family get together, get into a physical confrontation and may other things that really aren’t worth it.
What comes next after this short list requires an examination of what’s important to us. An honest examination will put being right pretty low on the list for nearly everyone. We also need to ask: What will being right do for us? Unless letting that other person be wrong or win the argument puts one of you in danger than the answer is usually not much or nothing at all. Much like don’t sweat the small stuff needing to be right often just wastes energy and causes us unnecessary stress.
Of course on the other end of the spectrum letting others be right all the time allows them to push us around and take advantage of us. It can be a tough call to make and, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, knowing when to walk away or end a discussion requires a clear picture of what is truly important to us. We wont always make the right call but at the end of the day most of us can agree that putting our relationships with friends and family or our job at risk is not worth trying to make someone see your point of view.
Save your sanity and pick your battles wisely and you will be happier for it.