I’m sure you have all seen, and like me, you’ve had enough of the vitriol in the social media about the general election and Brexit. One of the things that has amazed me is that a lot of people would rather be right than the country be in a better state.
People may spend a lot of time and energy proving a point about something. You can never prove you are right to someone else’ The harder you try to prove it to them, the more stubborn both you and they become, often to the point that whoever is wrong, even if it’s you, will never admit it.
The only person who is important in determining whether you’re right is YOU. How you see a situation is your view alone. Your beliefs and opinions belong to you, nobody else. Your thoughts about a situation, with respect to yourself, is what counts. Everyone sees things with a different set of eyes. Each has the right to their views or opinions.
There’s a big difference between believing a viewpoint or opinion to be right, and whether it’s objectively and factual, accurate or correct. People often do things or have ideas that are inaccurate or incorrect. But facts don’t have to be proven to others. People in relationships, such as parents, spouses, bosses, have both the right and the responsibility to point out errors of fact to others.
Recognise the difference between opinion and fact. It can prevent you from falling into a trap of having to prove yourself to someone else. Facts are objective and true, you don’t need to prove them to others. The facts do that on their own. If you tell someone that a bus leaves at 8am, you don’t have to prove it. If the person arrives at 8:10, the bus will be gone!
Recognise when others draw you into a trap of trying to “prove” yourself or prove your point. Extended families often try this trick especially on newcomers like son-in-laws and daughter-in-laws. These newcomers are often baited by opinionated statements, and end up trying to prove a point in defence of themselves or others.
You’ll never prove a point to someone else who holds an opinion or a value quite different from yours. You’ll only escalate tempers and emotions and create hard feelings between you and them. YOU KNOW if your opinions, views, ideas and values are right for you. That’s all you need. Don’t get caught in a never-ending circular trap of trying to prove you’re points or views are right to others.
Equally, don’t react to baited comments from others. Don’t think you have to prove you’re right, and they’re wrong. You’ll just wear yourself down, or work yourself into such an anger that you may do things that you seriously regret and feel badly about later.
“The proof of the pudding is in the eating”. The proof of your views, opinions and ideas, is in your confidence with yourself. This can’t be forced on others despite how great you feel that proof is.
So proving a point is pointless!
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