You’ve probably been in a situation where you know you’re completely right so you aggressively push your view because you know you are right. Well, that’s probably not the best way to handle a it. A lot of times, those who are right really try to assert their positions because they know they are right. And then there are those who believe they are right as well and try to assert themselves, but that’s another story. The two are intertwined, but not synonymous. Personally, I have a pretty logical thought process, so when I know I am right, I tend to refuse to listen to other voices of dissent, which can work to my detriment sometimes. Once, I had a discussion with a coworker who was not familiar with a process that kept insisting they were right when I knew they had no clue of what they were talking about. Because I knew I was right, I tried to show them how to get to my line of thinking, but didn’t really take into consideration their feelings. Because I didn’t do that, the person tried to sabotage me later because they felt as if they weren’t properly listened to. This is what happens when you try to steamroll people without listening to the opposition even if you are right. It will come back to bite you. What I failed to recognize was that the person absolutely hated to be wrong and called out for it in public, which caused them to hold on to their hard feelings and try to ruin what I was working on to satisfy their own feelings. You can say that people shouldn’t do that, but that doesn’t stop them from being human and acting out their feelings. A lot of times in academic , political, and work settings, people don’t really assess feelings and how they play into situations, but when you don’t assess them, they will topple you as in the recent election.
Many intelligent people went into the election on the soundness of the polls, but never took into consideration how people felt. A lot of working-class Americans were fed up with the state of government. Democrats who fought for Bernie Sanders felt slighted and were not properly brought back into the fold, causing them to vote third party or not at all. A lot of Republicans didn’t like either party and decided not to vote, and then the political elite wondered where they went wrong. A lot of times, things are rolled out in government that aren’t properly explained to people and as such, the people resent that and question why the programs were implemented in the first place. One of those projects is Affirmative Action. I’ve heard white people express dismay at it because they see people of color who seemingly had the same socioeconomic level as them surpass them and only know that it was due to the color of their skin. Programs such as this are worthy, but if they are not explained to the masses, they will face opposition because those in the elite know it is right, but think there is nothing more to do because they are right. It even took me a long time to come to understand the purpose of Affirmative Action. To summarize, everyone is biased. Each race is predisposed to favor their own based on cultural, social, and economic cues. That does not mean it applies to everyone and every situation, but it is prevalent. Look up race blindness, where someone can recognize those within their own race, but have face blindness when it comes to other races different than them. There are all sorts of biases out there that may or may not benefit you. As such, if you are one race and go to an employer who is the same race, you may have a slight advantage over others who are not the same. Now imagine that on a large scale where the majority of employers are white. The results are going to be the same, but on a larger scale. There is no racism involved, but slight biases do exist that no one ever noticed. AA tried to correct this, but it cannot work if it is not explained.
On a personal and social level, this attitude can lead to the failure of things that are completely righteous and well-meaning, but just because they are right doesn’t mean it can be forced on others without considering their feelings and opinions. Recently, I’ve watched videos of the Black Pete, a blackface figure, from the Netherlands and how the people there have vigorously fought against the political correctness of this long-held tradition. Those who are agitating for change are correct in their estimations of the character being a racist emblem of a time gone by, and they are correct in protesting it, but they must also think about the opposition. When you question the validity of this tradition, these people take it as an assault against their heritage and who they are. When they feel assaulted, they will fight for what they feel is the disintegration of their people, when in actuality, it is just one racist aspect that can easily be changed. How it should be handled is not an easy answer, but it is easy to see that you need to take into consideration the feelings behind the character and what it means to the people. So the next time you know you’re right and the other party is completely in the wrong, try to consider not their position, but their feelings tied to their position instead. You don’t have to change their minds to see the rightness of your way of thinking, but you just have to acknowledge their dissent and how they are feeling. That is enough to open an honest dialogue of what is really operating beneath the spoken words and actions that you do see. Because it’s what you don’t see that will kill you. Am I right, Hillary?