September 01, 2007
I had a friend who was a fellow French major in college. She started a blog several years ago and mostly talked about personal stuff in her life. But right before the invasion into Iraq, she wrote a post about how the US is a big bully in the world and how we should listen to France. And I Went Off. I wrote a huge diatribe about why we should tell France to feck off, etc. The blog is long gone, so I no longer know her words or mine, but I know I probably came off too harsh. I think it took her completely by surprise, and definitely not in a good way. But I was right, by golly, and she needed to know why she was wrong. And I maintained that I was in the right for a very long time.
But what my tiff with Allicadem taught me, a full four years later, is that I was a bonehead. I might've been absolutely 100% right that we rule and France drools, but I should've handled the situation far better. Either I should've kept my mouth shut, or I should've treaded far more lightly.
In relationships, there are more important things than being right.
I screwed up, and it's too late to fix that mess. But being on the receiving end of Allicadem's mess brought me a whole new level of perspective. And I came away thinking a lot about my old friend and how, when someone is speaking from the gut, it's not always the best time to tell her she's wrong. Maybe I will make a terrible mother and I don't know being pregnant from a hole in the ground, but it probably wasn't a good idea to say so. She had the right to say it, but exercising that right may be followed by an entire comments section gang-up. I had the right to tell my friend that France is worthless, but exercising that right put a serious unmendable dent in that friendship.
So I personally learned a lot from an ouch situation, and I've managed to take that grokking and apply it to a new situation. I wrote at SpouseBuzz that a friend of ours is getting out of the Army, and the wife is starting to wear me down with her vitriol. I got a lot of advice to speak openly with the friend and to tell her how I feel, but I do not think I will take that approach here. I don't need to be right anymore, and I don't need her to know that the Army isn't evil. She is the one who needs to talk, whether or not I think she's right.
I feel embiggened that I learned from a mistake I made four years ago, that I was smart enough to finally realize it was a mistake and to break the cycle before I did it again.
It feels good not to be right.
Posted by: allicadem at September 01, 2007 11:11 AM (m78F6)
Posted by: Green at September 01, 2007 05:39 PM (VqW06)
Posted by: Lemon Stand at September 01, 2007 10:46 PM (uwVBJ)
Posted by: N at September 01, 2007 11:40 PM (gM9fk)
Posted by: dictionary at September 02, 2007 04:46 AM (TWet1)
Posted by: Q at September 03, 2007 12:50 AM (OIxDY)
Posted by: PrincessJami at September 06, 2007 10:52 AM (0gPLe)
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