Can I be right and wrong at the same time?

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Can we be right and wrong at the same time? How is it that you don’t see the obvious!? I can’t believe you see things the way you do! How can you be like that? These are some of the things we might think or say when a situation arises with someone else. We have a view of the world and if someone else does not see it the way we do, we take a position. We are a strange species because we like to deal in absolutes. I am correct….right?!?!

What we have here is a mental model of the world. This is where through our experiences, upbringing and our circle of associations, we have a view of the world. Everything in our world is deemed correct. Anything counter to it, is not correct. This is the same as our perception. Our perspective has developed over the years from all of our collective experiences and results. Through this, we are always 100% correct because without knowing it, that is what we show and what we know. If things or situations run counter to our perspective and mental model, we immediately go into defensive mode and react.

Let me provide an example of how this works. Recently, there was a discussion where someone commented that they had the pleasure of meeting the leader of the Liberal Party, Justin Trudeau and he was someone who spoke with grace. Unfortunately, the reply from someone was that they did not agree that this person was a worthy leader, inexperienced and unable to run Canada should they be elected Prime Minister. I found this comment bothersome. The comment suggested that the country would be a shambles should Trudeau become Prime Minister. Unfortunately, that is not what would happen. We are not a dictatorship where one person’s views would change the course of this country…it is a room of policy makers and cabinets that do this. My comment was that any of the federal party leaders are capable of being the Prime Minister and through individual eye’s would be a good leader…or not.

I suppose that is why I have not considered politics as a career. We deal in absolutes. We think to ourselves that this person is so out of touch and line with reality to who I am and my thoughts; however, there are equally many people who support a leader who feel the others are out of touch with reality. People will embrace us when we are doing what they want and shun us when it is counter to their thoughts. As humans, we also have a knack of building a reactive sense so that if you upset me once, anything you do after that will be seen with a negative or cautious eye and you can not get back to my supportive sense.

The lesson here is simple. Everyone is right because their view of the world is correct to them. The challenge is that we are very powerful when it comes to get our point across and we only remember being wronged. We don’t take the time to consider someone else’s position or mental model. The next time, instead of reacting, try to understand how they came to this conclusion and perhaps there might be merit in what they say.

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