It's Because I'm Right

Another short story from my time working bakery retail.

I had a coworker then who’s still a good friend of mine, Elizabeth. Elizabeth was, and still is, quite the conversationalist. Nearly any subject you could think of, Elizabeth could have an informed discussion with you on it. This remains one of my favorite aspects of her. Furthermore, not only could she have an informed discussion on it, she would usually have quite the passionate opinions it too! As an early-twenties white guy who liked “debating”, she was the perfect coworker.

One day, while having a firey discussion about something I no longer remember, she made a counter argument to something I said that I couldn’t ignore. In an attempt to show that I agreed with her, I said, “Well, you’re not wrong.” Elizabeth immediately snaps back, “It’s because I’m right!” And you know what, that really hit me. I think I actually burst out laughing!

At that time in my life, I used that phrase a lot. “You’re not wrong.” I thought it was just a socially acceptable way to tell the other person that I concede, or that I agreed with them even if I didn’t like it. It wasn’t until she called me out like that that I realized that what I was actually doing was using a very passive voice in an attempt to not feel like I had “lost”. With these choice words I could admit that I was wrong without actually admitting it and without telling the other person that they’re right.

And I laughed because it wasn’t until her interjection that I had been challenged to see that this is in fact what I was doing. Ever since that day, whenever I’m in an argument, I make sure to think more about my word choice, and if the other person is right, so be it. Better to tell them than to be an asshole.

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