Monday, April 10, 2017

The Art of Being Wrong

There have been times in my life where I was absolutely sure that I saw the world as it really was and then ended up being dead wrong (an example of a thinking error is naive realism). Two of my favorite books on thinking errors are Being Wrong by Kathryn Schulz and You're Not So Smart by David McRaney.

As I have raised kids over the years, there have been so many times that I have tripped over my thinking, believing that my vast accumulation of experience somehow qualified me to give my kids that would change their lives. Unfortunately, it has taken me a while to realize that so often I am the one who is "off." At times, they weren't seeking any advice, but just wanted me to listen to their fears, concerns, and anxieties without worrying about what I might think or so. I had to realize that I so often didn't see their world as it really was. Fortunately, the more I kept my mouth closed and tried to listen to their deepest concerns, the more they have seemed to talk to me.

Anytime you feel that people will judge your thoughts and actions, the more you tend to remain silent, which is an emotionally-unhealthy state to be. By allowing and encouraging vulnerability, where you can express your concerns without judgement, you allow deeper and more meaningful conversation to flourish.

Now, that I am a grandfather, I hope to listen and show understanding even more with my grown-up children and their children. Life is about love and connection. Wish me luck.

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