/being right vs. being clear_

Have you ever been in a conversation or a debate with someone and had the urge to say “Well, you just need to be right all the time!” Or maybe that’s been said to you? I’m going to posit that it isn’t that anyone needs to be right so much as they need to know they are being clear. That is they need to feel like they are being understood.

Arguments. We all have them. Sometimes they are a friendly debate and no more than a difference of opinion. Sometimes they are an ugly fight where two people end up storming out of the room after coming to complete loggerheads. (Got to use the word loggerheads)

But is it that the other person really needs to prove that they are right and convince the other person to believe what they believe? Or do they just need to be heard?

I’ll admit, a good internet debate is sometimes fun. Sometimes, the ideas of the other person are so unfathomable that you feel this thrilling incensing that you can’t refrain from commenting. (Insert thought bubble: “Oh, I am about to let this sucker HAVE IT!”) And sure, sometimes you’re just being a troll.

But then what happens. You get sucked in. You keep going and going and going. Counter point after counter point. And what is this really about? Is it about being right or getting the other person to change their opinion? You know that there really is no right or wrong when it comes to opinions. You know that you’re not going to convince them to change their mind. No. This is about making your point clear.

If they fight back or misunderstand that makes you feel misunderstood. You may quietly ask yourself, “WHAT THE HELL DON’T THEY GET?!? THIS ISN’T ROCKET SCIENCE!!!” Was that quiet?

What’s really happening here is that neither of you are feeling understood because neither of you are relenting to at least say, “I get what you’re saying even though I see the world through a different lens.”

The world is too complex and varied for any one size fits all stance. Opinions are really more like clothes. There are a lot of styles. A lot of ways to adorn your body. You may not agree with the way some people adorn their bodies. But that isn’t really your problem because at the end of the day you don’t have to dress like that.

It’s very easy to argue and have opinions about what clothing is appropriate. But clothes like opinions are just forms of self expression. Being able to have an opinion that is different is a blessing. It’s a constitutional right. We should celebrate differences of opinion.

AND, we should be willing to hear the opinion of someone else because they are sitting on the other side of the world when it comes to how they perceive existence. Being able to have those shared perspectives is a heaven sent instrument.

Shared perspectives help you gain empathy. They help you see farther than you would have on your own. They help you to see the humanity in others. They help you find compromise. They help you build community.

We don’t have to see things similarly. But if we’re going to work together or live together. We have to at least hear each other.

That starts with the underlying assumption that people don’t need to be right, they just need to be clear.

If you don’t know much about me yet on the professional side. I work with companies who are trying to automate their marketing funnels and drive more business. My design and tech team and I do this through helping companies design and build a booking site that puts appointments right on their calendar using WP and the Periodic platform. I’m very happy to make new business friends and have whiteboard sessions. Let’s collaborate! Hop on my calendar anytime.

Torlando Hakes | Author | Speaker | Podcaster

Director of Business Development at Periodic


Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store