In the interest of anonymity, I will speak very generally today. My intention here is not to put anyone down nor point out their mistakes. Rather, I want to point out how some things are more important than others. With that being said, I would like to tell you about an experience I had the other night.
I was out at a dinner with my wife and some friends. We were having a conversation about a common health condition that many young kids have, for which they take medicine. As we were speaking, one of the older adults was a little confused and said that he takes medicine for the same thing. Though this was not unheard of, it was not the norm. As he proceeded to tell us more, I realized he was confusing the two conditions. Another one of my friends was involved in the conversation as well. We simultaneously realized the confusion. So what did we do???
When we realized our friend was confused, my friend and I could have easily pointed out the mistake and how our friend was merely confusing the conditions. But instead of pointing out the mistake, we both decided, without even talking to each other, that there was no need to speak up. You may be thinking, “But now your friend will never know.” Well, that may or may not be true, but I can tell you that it is NOT gravely important that we be the one that tells him or if the difference even matters. Sure, either one of us could have pointed out that he was wrong, perhaps to his embarassment, but since it was only the three of us in the conversation, we moved to another topic. So why didn’t we say anything???
Why We Said Nothing…
I later spoke to my friend who also said nothing. Discreetly, I said, “I like the way we both knew it wasn’t important to correct him.” He responded by saying, “What value would it have added to point out that he was wrong? NONE.” He realized exactly what I realized…there was no need to point out the mistake and make him feel bad about confusing the two conditions. Rather than seeing our other, older friend, confused and potentially justifying his confusion, it was best to let it go. We will probably never have that same conversation again, so pointing it out and correcting him could have made him feel bad or foolish. Since we didn’t want this to happen, without even talking, we both decided it was best to say nothing.
My buddy and I who decided to let the situation go share the 5and2Guy mentality and realized it was less important for us to be right and correct our friend than it was to avoid unintentionally putting our other friend in a situation where they would feel foolish. We both know that no one likes to be corrected, let alone look foolish, so we decided the relationship was more important than being right. Sure, we could have pointed out the mistake, but it was so insignificant, that there was no value is making it a big deal.
The point here is that we need to value our relationships more than we value being right. We need to understand that no one likes to be corrected, nor look foolish. We need to lift our family, friends, and loved ones up, not seize the opportunity to put them down. Our love for one another needs to be stronger than our egos. Just as important, we need to be aware enough to see these types of situations as they happen, not after we make the mistake of putting our egos first. If we can be sure to shut our egos down, it will be easier to let our relationships grow and flourish. And in the end, isn’t that all we really want?