What Do You Love Today?

Receiving good customer service the other day from a young retail employee, the anticipation of seeing Wits on Friday which is being hosted by Steven Yeun with Motion City Soundtrack performing and keeping a tradition with my brother alive.

What do YOU love today?

Not Wrong…Just Different

It is a personal pet peeve of mine when people tout their opinion as a fact and then tell you you’re wrong because you have a different opinion than they do.

I am not referring to such hot button topics like politics and religion, instead I get annoyed when people talk about the “right” way to sweep a floor or fold laundry. It is hard to take someone seriously, or respect them, when they are telling you you’re doing something wrong simply because you achieve the end result differently than they do. Just because I don’t always deep clean my kitchen before I start cooking, or pull every single ingredient out before I even begin the process of cooking something, doesn’t mean I am “doing it wrong” and need to correct my behavior.

If you have a preference for how something is done you need to realize first off that it is A PREFERENCE. That makes it an opinion. Opinions are neither right or wrong, but they are usually different. If you want to convince someone that they should change the way they do something so that you can be more comfortable with the way they do it, the best way to approach that topic would be to start off by expressing your opinion as an OPINION. It is far less likely to raise the other person’s defense and much more likely to be received with an open mind. Even if the other person doesn’t agree with your opinion they would probably be much more willing to oblige your wishes (out of respect) if you calmly told them your preference, why you have this preference and oh yeah were willing to acknowledge that it is YOUR PREFERENCE.

Going into a conversation where you immediately tell the other person they are doing it wrong and blow things out of proportion only raises their defense and makes them less likely to either agree with you or respect your wishes. Trying to then make them feel guilty or like they are the sole problem when they don’t immediately agree with you about their “abhorrent” tendencies only compounds the problem, makes your argument less valid and usually causes them to lose respect for you.

Yet everyday I see people telling other people how wrong they are regarding such mundane tasks as scraping off their vehicle, chopping an onion or the way you dispose of your garbage. Then they act surprised when it starts an argument with the person being told they suck at life and ice scraping and everyone leaves the conversation feeling angry and hurt. No one wins, no one is respected, the cycle continues.

I have pointed out that these opinions are opinions and been flatly told just how wrong I was in thinking that. I have begged that when dealing with me for people to express their wishes and preferences as wishes and preferences if they want me to change my behavior because telling me I’m doing something wrong when I know that is just their opinion causes me to shut down and immediately reject their message. Some people have listened, they approach me with respect and I am more than willing to modify my behavior to accommodate their requests when they do that. Others, they just seemed incapable of being willing to admit that their preferences were opinions and change the simple term of “wrong” to “different” and sadly those are the people I can never seem to get along with for long. I won’t tell them their approach is wrong, but I will say it’s unsuccessful and if they want to continue with an unsuccessful approach they have to be willing to accept that the outcome will continue to be disappointing for everyone.

Why is it so hard for some people to just understand that different isn’t wrong, it’s just different?