When Quitting is Better than Winning.

That’s right, I made no mistake in the headline. There are times when one must “throw in the towel” to win. Sounds a little convoluted, but if you read on a little further you’ll find it’s not, and why sometimes quitting can also save your sanity.

How many of us remember an argument we had with either a customer, family member, friend, or dread the thought…an In Law, where you remember the discussion becoming let’s say….testy. Then it became almost combative, because all of your response is against verbal accusations that weren’t even part of the original discussion. As the argument progresses you realize you’re trying to defend, defending yourself! Once you realize this moment, you must cease and desist. You will never win the argument, and more often than not it’s your sanity that’s weakened, not theirs. Here’s an example of a typical ( but not limited to) discussion that goes awry.

You’re speaking with ____________ (fill in the blank) and they say, “Yes, but you think that way because you’re a jerk.”  You respond to  defend yourself, but now you’re a little more combative in your answer because you feel insulted. The other person now elevates their assertiveness, and begins to argue about how rude or ticked off they now feel because of your combative way, the whole time they’ll insist that it was you that started things. As you try to remind them they insulted you first, they respond with lines such as..”You were the one raising your voice, I didn’t!”..or something to the tune of..” I called you that in response to you raising your voice, don’t you think raising someone raising their voice for no reason is a jerk?” Let it go…You’re dead in the water. You clearly know how it started, and the other party has now proved either they don’t care, or they’re to self-absorbed to understand. Concede to the futile nature and leave the discussion respectfully however you can.

A lot of this article came to mind as I was watching television over the weekend. For any political junkies that might be reading, or anyone who was watching the Sunday news shows, there is a big brew ha ha going on about the President’s State of the Union speech, and how he addressed (or undressed) the Supreme Court at the event.  Let me put the political disclaimer in..It’s not a Left, Right, Dem, Rep, Martian, or any other life form, right side, wrong side argument OK? It’s about learning from a situation, and applying its lesson in ones daily affairs, no matter where the lesson comes from if one gains insight.

I watched a panel remarking on how the President appeared to take a shot at the Supreme Court on a decision they made. One member said they believed it was beneath the President to do such a thing. The other panel member shot right back with how undignified it was for one of the Justice’s to mutter under his breath at the President, and didn’t they think that it was wrong for that to happen? The panel then broke out into a which came first, the chicken or the egg discussion worthy of a Saturday Night Live skit.

In situations like this save your breath, and save your sanity. Just move on.

Mark