Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Maybe You’re Wrong

We all know that to be human is to be imperfect. No one has it completely together. Not a soul. Except me.

I haven’t been wrong since ‘75 when I saw that ruggedly handsome lawyer on the news and thought, “That Ted Bundy fella is alright.”

Although we know humans are flawed, most of us go through life as if we’re omniscient works of art. Deep down we feel that people are flawed, but not ‘me.’

That’s a problem.

In the 90s, a man called Willie King had a diseased leg that needed to be amputated. So he goes to the hospital, gets anesthetized, and ends up in a room where a surgeon does his thing. He wakes up a few hours later, looks down and says, “What happened to my good leg?!”

The surgeon took the wrong leg. He made a mistake that could have been prevented by walking to the other side of the operating room and glancing in the general direction of the patient’s file.

Why didn’t he?

Likely because he felt so right that he couldn’t imagine being wrong.

Overconfidence isn’t just an issue that can lead to being disfigured by your doctor. (Don’t worry, in today’s hospital your file gets checked several times before you’re rolled into the OR.) 

Believing your beliefs are synonymous with fact damages your faith in people. Because what do you do with the people who don’t share your beliefs?

You think of them as ignorant. They don’t have the same information as you.
You think of them as dumb. They don’t know how to dissect the same information as you.
You think of them as evil. They act regardless of the information.

In short, you’ll dismiss people’s views on a whim. Even though the person’s view that should be dismissed may be yours.

No matter how many books you read, being wrong is not an embarrassing glitch you can eradicate from your being. It’s fundamental to who we are. Even you.

After all, facts change all the time. We’ve been flip flopping about the risks of eggs for over 60 years. Old studies said no more than one a day, even older studies no more than three a week. Today, experts say that eating eggs has no ill effects.

Considering facts change so rapidly, you are without a doubt wrong on something. So my question to you is, “What’s something you strongly believe that’s likely wrong?”

To help lure you out of your mental stronghold, I leave you with this final thought.

Mankind hasn’t got this far by being very intelligent, we got here because we got better at not being stupid.

Help us all be less stupid, find a wrong and learn.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach