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Being “Right” Isn’t Worth Burning Bridges

One of the more painful lessons I’ve learned—and some would argue that I haven’t really learned it yet—is that being “right” isn’t worth burning bridges. I’ve burned plenty of bridges in the last decade, some personal, some communal, and some professional. And I’ve been on the other side of that.

No, really, being “right” is a bullshit reason for writing someone off or pushing them to write you off.

I keep using scare quotes because being “right” is likely to be an emotional state rather than a logical one. If it was purely logical, people wouldn’t feel compelled to say or do things they can’t take back, that damage relationships.

Remember, every side believe they’re “right.” Being “right” isn’t exclusive, no matter how much one side believes themselves to have the only valid claim.

And being “right” is not inherently a permanent state. Today’s interpretation of facts and circumstances is just one interpretation. You might well run into the situation I have, where you see things from a better perspective months or years later, and realize you were “right” but not truly right.

How do we patch this? By communicating. It’s so easy to become “right” when you’re in a world of faceless, text-only communication, where only what’s deemed necessary by one person is conveyed to another asynchronously.

Don’t do things that would cripple or burn relationships in the heat of being “right.” Please. You will regret it. Yes, some personal, communal, and professional relationships are doomed to fail, but try to keep that from happening the first time one of you is “right.”

Edited to Add: The initial responses I’m getting are about politics, which is interesting because my vagueness here was to not talk about indie subcultural rifts or different business decisions (including putting Nazi art in my book or not sharing reasons behind publication mandates). But yeah, I only find a few instances of personal politics worthy of burning an existing relationship.

–Ryan

Edited P.S. I will kill any comments that bring up specific politics or situations.

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3 Responses to Being “Right” Isn’t Worth Burning Bridges

  1. Do you feel, that text communtication robs something from relatioships?

  2. Wayne Zombie says:

    When I was in high school and started working retail selling cameras and audio equipment, the first thing that I was taught by management was “Never get in to an argument with a customer: you might win the argument, but you’ll lose the customer.” I think it applies to pretty much all situations: when an argument becomes emotional, your rational mind moves to the corner to avoid the explosions.

    Which is why I avoid Facebook and discussing politics with anyone online and some people in person.