Two Annoying Habits
September 19, 2020
I recently had an interesting conversation with a friend who asked me about some of the personal improvement challenges I was working on currently.
We ended up discussing about two annoying habits that many people who have experienced success display.
I suspect both these annoying habits I mention below will resonate with many.
Wanting to be Right, Always:
- I am presenting a proposal to my colleagues, and some of my assumptions are challenged. Instead of acknowledging the inputs, I bunker down to prove that my assumptions are right.
- I am at a social gathering where there a discussion about some politician I like. My Friend has a contrarian view. I get into an intense argument trying to prove that the politician is worthy and good.
- My Son wants to eat Mexican. I want to eat Italian. Since my Son is insisting, I give in, and we go Mexican. The food sucks. I start rubbing it to my Son- “We should have gone Italian. I told you. Look at how the food sucks- you should have listened to me”
Being competitive is a trait many of us possess, and this fuels our desire to win and prove that we are always right. No matter what the issue is, it could be something important, meaningful, trivial, or plain irrelevant; we want to win, and we want to establish ourselves to be Right.
The reality of the issue does not alter in any way. It’s just an emotional attachment to wanting to be right. Do we really have to be right all the time?
Perhaps many times, it may be better to just ease up and let the other person feel like a winner instead.
Trying To Add Too Much Value.
- My Son is rushing a draft of the report he is submitting to the school. He asks me to glance through and check if everything is okay. I go through the document. It is well written. Instead of saying it’s okay, I give him a few cosmetic suggestions that don’t change the document’s core. My Son gets irritated because having asked my feedback; he can’t ignore what I say.
- My colleague comes up with an exciting marketing idea and shares it with me. Instead of encouraging him, I provide a few pointers at how he can improve the idea.
Thanks to the inputs I give, the report’s quality or the marketing proposal may have gone up by 5% or 10% at best. But in the bargain, I may have eroded the enthusiasm and excitement. It’s no longer my Son’s report or my colleague’s idea.
Many of us, particularly those with a lot of experience, tend to advise and add value, even when it may not be necessary.
Sometimes the right thing is to keep quiet and support without trying to add too much value.
Awareness Of Blind Spots Is Key
Through the conversation with my friend, I became aware of my own culpability on these two very annoying habits.
In the spotlight of our consciousness, anything negative will shrink. Our consciousness will always elevate us to become better every day. It creates that desire and intention to grow.
As I have become aware , I am now working on weaning myself out of these two annoying habits. With awareness, I am able to watch myself. I do slip occasionally, but there is definite progress.
Self-awareness doesn’t always prevent me from slipping, but it is certainly allowing me to learn and become better every time I slip.