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Right to be wrong

Good Group Tips

In principle, in relations among equals, people have a right to be wrong.

Often it is only by being wrong for a while — trying on an opinion that doesn’t fit — that one comes to realize what is truly right. Without the freedom to be wrong one is often in tension, discontent with the present, wishing for a different way.

When I think you are wrong and I am right, the question is not “How can I make you change?” but rather, “Given our different opinions, how shall I move forward peacefully?”

Practical Tip: If we disagree and I think you are wrong and I am right, it works well for me to say my opinion but it doesn’t work well for me to talk down to you or think bad of you. It works well for me to hear your opinion with a genuine desire to understand but it doesn’t work well for me to shut you down or write you off.

Let us acknowledge our different opinions but move forward anyway. Rather than stall and fight, let us either live with our differing opinions for a while, try on more opinions, and continue our dialogue with mutual respect; or let us go our different ways in peace.

Just like you have a right to be wrong, so do I, and it works well to be always mindful that perhaps I am.

– Craig Freshley

Click here for one-page PDF of this Tip, a great way to print or share.

3 thoughts on “Right to be wrong

  1. Thanks for your comment, Jim.

    For those who don’t know, here in Maine I have organized what I call Make Shift Coffee Houses specifically to people to understand each other’s political perspectives, and hang out.

    Learn all about them here:

  2. Wonderful tip, Craig! At (political) times like these, it is important to learn how to discuss differences. Thank you!

  3. great advice. The referendum for the casino, great example although very frustrating to have differences with close friends.

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