lyef & thymes

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Like Water off A Duck's Back


It was Sunday afternoon, and my friend Noel and I were sitting in a rental van (don't ask) in the parking lot of an American Outlet Mall (really, don't ask). It came to pass that we began to talk about the previous weekend, and one particular incident when my driving skills were brought into question. I disliked the experience, but it brought to light a deeper issue concerning being in the wrong.

This led me to wonder why I feel so strongly (consciously or subconsciously) as though I must always be right. Because it is clear to me that I do feel as though I must be right all the time. Am I the only one? Do any of you suffer from this stigma?

I have taken some time to think about it, and realize that many people behave in this way to a certain extent. Everyone I know defends their position in one way or another. I take it to another level. I sometimes fight for my position in such a way that I am not really satisfied until I know that everyone present has seen my perspective, and then, if they still disagree with me then so be it. But I do feel as though I must be heard, or else I become somewhat melancholy.

I have seen this behaviour before, in my dad. He once nearly came to blows with me over the suggestion that the Toronto Maple Leafs were one of the original six hockey teams. He was drunk at the time, and wouldn't hear otherwise. He maintained that they were not, and I knew that they were. Any attepmt to placate him on the matter was met with hostility, and he NEEDED to hear that I agreed with him before it could be resolved.

Why do I bring this up? Well, the fact is that early in life I discovered that sometimes, with some people, there was no such thing as right. I was always in the wrong, and must always be in the wrong. Any suggestion on my part that I was right and the other person was wrong would result in some sort of confrontation. Somehow I think that the lasting effect of this is that any time my perception of right is brought into question I automatically assume that I need to defend myself. Most of the time, particularly over the weekend, this is not the case. I know Noel and know that she and the other person who was poking fun at my driving were not trying to provoke me. I don't need to defend myself against them. They love me and feel at liberty to press me on issues like these. I am thankful for these type of friends.

Anyhow, enough childhood pain. Chicago is a lovely city, and having work to do gives me time to think about things. Funny that. So the more I think about this, and ask God about it, the more I learn and the more I grow. I think I will practice being comfortable with not knowing things. I am going to spend the next few weeks letting things slide off my back like water off a duck, not taking offense, not grasping at things that I should just let pass. Somehow I think that in doing so I will be better off. We'll see.

Ta Ta For Now

10 Comments:

At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 6:41 PM, Blogger Michael said...

So did ya nearly stack it mate???

Say Hi to your Mom from me! :)

 
At 10:41 PM, Blogger Handel said...

hey Jake-oh-

it really seems that you and I are cut from quite similar cloth.

I've found from growing out of the need to be right all the time that for me it was largely an issue of identity and reputation, as if someone was challenging my character if they pointed out an error in thinking (so imagine how I felt when people pointed out things in my character...). There we of course exceptions such as my parents and Benny J (Ben Poulsen aka cell leader), but in general it was construed as an attack of my identity. This was of course because I really believed, if mostly subconsciously, that my identity lay in my own ability to reason philosophical and theological and musicological and political things at what I thought to be a superior level to others. So pride comes before the fall, and misplaced affirmation inevitably leads to a broken bridge.

Thankfully, I had and have Holy Spirit to clean things up and keep me even-keel, and a Heavenly Dad to tell me who I really am. And so do you, Jacob, as you well know.

Hope this brings some illumination,
Matthew

 
At 10:02 AM, Blogger Jake-M said...

Mike, No man, I was just driving too slowly for their tastes. C'est la vie.

Matt, thanks for the insight man. Yeah it's a fun life, a good life, and I wouldn't want to trade it.

 
At 11:18 AM, Blogger rainy dayz can be happy.. said...

cool insights.

 
At 11:27 AM, Blogger hanni said...

As someone who frequently suffers from the need to defend...coupled with foot in mouth, your post really hit home.
I believe if I could learn to let things slide, my life would also be less chaotic...and I would probably apologize far less.
Good thoughts.

 
At 9:30 PM, Blogger Sgt Steve said...

i don't have to be right, I just don't like being wrong, or making a mistake...

 
At 7:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When did they do all this? Last I checked was a week ago. Payday Loans Cash Advance

 
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