It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when we have a sense that perhaps we’re wrong. Perhaps our position isn’t sound. Perhaps our opinion doesn’t add up. Something we believe to be true has received a legitimate challenge.
But, when you have this sinking feeling, it is often for a reason. When you feel there’s something “wrong” what you really have felt is that something you’ve done or said doesn’t align with your ultimate objective. Otherwise why would you feel like anything was out of place?
For example, if I believe that the best way to mitigate violence is to become aware of any aggression that I exhibit and to put a stop to it, then if I verbally lash out with aggression in a conversation I will feel a wrongness if someone points it out.
That sense of wrongness can easily lead one to double down and become more aggressive. But it doesn’t have to. Instead of feeling wrong, one can recognize they’re not being very effective at achieving their ultimate purpose of stymying aggression as a means to make the world a less violent place. An in this sense, upon recognizing the ineffectual behavior, we all can learn to be proud that we admitted our misstep because we’re now one step closer to being effective.
In fact, if we simply focus on efficacy, instead of feeling bad about being “wrong” we can feel good about it, especially when we catch ourselves in the act and correct our own course of action.
So, if you hate the sinking feeling of being wrong, become more aware of what’s important in life–your objectives–and seek to reframe missteps as an opportunity to be effective and no longer care about the notion of being wrong.
Feel proud that you, or someone else, caught the aggression before it escalated to violence.