Thursday, December 18, 2008

I can officially add "Almost sued" to my ever growing list of life experiences. A situation that was supposedly settled over two months ago has come back with a vengeance and a lawyer. A rude, horrible lawyer. The miscommunication had already been settled, the right people were not notified. So, I've been accused of lying, hung up on, had my credit threatened, and have been threatened to be sued ("with pleasure") by a guy that I will never (hopefully) know. Merry Christmas.

After our first unpleasant conversation, which had left me flustered and angry (and red), I was almost excited to get another call from this stranger. I had been belittled and my character and integrity had been attacked. This kind of thing is not a usual occurrence for me. Knowing that I was right, I had the kind of confidence that inspires pure wit and biting sarcasm flow freely from my otherwise kind and careful mouth. He called, I responded diplomatically but directly, and after less than five minutes we were both angry and he hung up on me. I was proud. I wanted more. I wanted it to hurt.

Looking back on this and a few other recent situations, I realized that we are killing each other over being right.We get so caught up in the idea of being right that we lose the humanity in situations. Instead of diplomacy, we get angry and go for blood. Instead of discussion, we rant, protest, rage, insult. We are justified! We have been wronged! Our rights have been violated! You are wrong! Humility goes out the door and instead, we are left with a defensive pride that shuts out a lot of the things that make us human.

This isn't a new concept at all, I am just seeing a lot more of it right now. I'm also more aware of the pointless results that come along with this attitude: a bunch of people yelling back and forth. Being right does not mean we are justified to treat another person poorly, or to stop treating them as an equal. Yes, we have rights and deserve respect, and that applies regardless of whether we are right or wrong.

1 comment:

Adam Something said...

Kudos for realizing that.

Personally, I think this kind of vindictive anger is the most destructive to interpersonal relationships.

The sense of being right that consumes a person so much that they end up alienating someone that they care about just to prove they are (very, very) right.

Bummer, eh?

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