Saturday, October 12, 2013

Being Kind Is More Important Than Being Right

It's a pretty famous quote, and I thought an obvious one that I fulfilled. I realized recently that I sometimes do not.  I've always thought of myself as a kind person, and I do try to do caring things for others, take care of others, be there for others. In fact, others always talk about what a good heart I have. That much is true. But I'm also a very black and white person. Things are right or wrong, good or bad. And I have a tough time with anything I label wrong or bad. Of course this is additionally skewed because it's my own label, and there are two sides to every story.

I realized that given my penchant for this all or nothing type of thinking, I also tend to have very little filter. Which isn't necessarily a terrible thing all of the time, but it can be. It can grate on people. Nobody always wants to be wrong or the bad guy or even to hear your opinion of everything. Additionally, I don't have a ton of finesse in saying things. So I tend to just be right out there with it. And while most people don't like a bullshitter, there is a lot to be said for the way you say something being almost as important as what you actually say.

Through a very painful lesson, I learned that I have often put being right before being kind. It seems I'd rather tell someone that what they did was wrong/bothered me/pissed me off, than let it go (assuming it wasn't something earth shattering) and be kinder to the person. It also seems that when I do try to let it go, it tends to come out later anyway. I'm not good at holding stuff in. I believe some people would call that a gross understatement. I'm not an intentionally mean person at all. Sometimes I'm actually trying to give someone a compliment and it comes out sounding like an insult. It truly is that I often don't know how to phrase things to make them sound acceptable.

It hurts me to realize that this trait.  They say every experience in life, even those that make you feel horrible, is a lesson. I hope so.  So this is me saying on the record that I know I need to make some changes. I'm starting right now. For the people I have hurt, I apologize from the bottom of my heart. I'd give anything to take back hurtful things I've said and focus more on being kind than right.  For the people who I haven't pushed away, I ask you to please be patient with me and have faith in me. Change takes time. It's baby steps. It's moment by moment. I'm going to do the best that I absolutely can. I truly hope that's enough. 

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