I used to have a horrible problem with hang nails. They are not only painful, but a constant source of irritation. The tips of my fingers would bleed and sting when I yanked off the little pieces of semi-dead skin. Then after years of suffering, I decided to take some clippers to work to keep in my desk, and whenever a little hang nail appeared I would clip it instead of tearing the skin away. Voila…no more hang nail problems. I thought I had bad cuticles or something, but it turns out I was just taking the wrong approach to deal with it.
When thinking about this the other day, I began to wonder what other painful or annoying situations in my life I was blaming on some inherent problem when it was only my flawed behavior that was causing the agony. Most glaring was my tendency to argue about everything. Having a constant desire to be “right” isn’t something I can even deny after having been told about by so many people for so many years. I’m just not sure what to do about it.
No one wakes up in the morning and says, “I can’t wait to be wrong about a bunch of stuff today.” Often my arguments are meant to be constructive in the problem solving sense. Now, in my mid-thirties, I realize I have surrounded myself with people that fit two categories: 1) they either like to argue and have some skill at it (e.g. Adam or Christian) or 2) they refuse to engage me at all (e.g. my wife and my mother). However, I think I would better off in some relationships if I could, at the very least, tone down the rhetoric, or even better just keep my mouth shut after a certain point.