Is it wrong to like being wrong? I find it gives me a subtle, sheepish buzz
This might sound strange, and disingenuous, but there is an unexpected pleasure in being wrong. (Of course, this is a rare pleasure for me.) Specifically, the exact moment of realisation. There is also a pleasure in an energetic back-and-forth with a mate, when both of you are convinced that you are correct – but, unless there is some misunderstanding in communication, you cannot both be right. This phase of the argument is also quite eerie, because it suggests that you are living in parallel universes. Or that one of you was incredibly drunk, which is a possibility.
Depending on the beef, phones will be whipped out; Google will be fired up; other pals will be dragged in to take a side. Sometimes it’s just a question of whether a word is valid in Scrabble. Sometimes it’s a specific thing that did (or did not) happen on a historic night out, or the title of a long-ago film.
I very rarely enter into genuine rifts. But give me a petty difference of opinion or a dispute over a particular fact and I am all over it. At some stage, it may be decided that there is no point continuing the discourse and that age-old phrase will come into play: “We’ll have to agree to disagree”. Which, of course, just means you will no longer discuss the issue, but will internally continue to know absolutely that you are in the right. But there are two other outcomes: one of you relents and lets the other have their way, despite not being convinced; or one of you genuinely concedes the point.
Of course, it’s a total smug joy if your friend, office nemesis or sibling backs down and admits that they are wrong. But, surprisingly, I also find a subtle, sheepish buzz when the penny drops that it is me who is wrong.
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I can’t fully explain this, other than as a gentle gift of humility, a slice of humble pie that doesn’t taste as bad as you might think, but instead reminds you not to be so stubborn next time. There’s also the fact that overcoming disagreements can strengthen bonds. You may even learn something. But bear in mind it is only enjoyable if the debate was relatively minor and good-natured. There is zero joy in being wrong about something huge. Something friendship-destroying. Something career-ending.
What I am saying is: Lucy, I admit it. You won at bowling in year 10. I can offer you only a drink and my profuse apologies. I will, however, beat you next time.