Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Life Lessons from Val #1 (and #2)

My mom is a wise woman.

When she reads this, she will say that that is not true.

Those of you who know her well will agree with me, though. She's not one to often give advice, despite raising nine children. She doesn't think she has all the answers. But she is kind, loving, and non-judgmental (sometimes to a fault) and people love her: from the dry cleaning lady to the checkers at her grocery store, she is a friend to everyone she meets. Obviously she has some wisdom that should be collected.

The lesson I'm going to share with you today is to memorize and use this phrase:

"You might be right."

She taught me this during the last year while I was dealing with an (some?) obnoxious child (children?) who wanted to find fault with each other constantly. This led to me wanting to find fault with them constantly. Mom suggested we use that phrase whenever someone said something we just KNEW was wrong so that we didn't have to correct them (and become even more obnoxious.)

We said it over and over to each other that day as a joke. It was kind of brilliant on a couple of levels. On the surface, it's brilliant because while we are saying "You might be right," we're thinking "But you're not..." so it satisfies the natural man's desire to stick it to our opponents.

But the deeper lesson I learned? Whenever I say "Hmm. You might be right," I'm actually allowing myself to back away from my position. And sometimes (just sometimes) I find that my opponent may actually (a little bit) be right.

Of course, now if you hear me say "You might be right," you'll know what I could be thinking, but I guarantee it goes down easier than saying "You're flat out wrong and let me tell you why."

And Life Lesson from Val #2?

Dance whenever possible. And wherever possible:


Amber said...

Oh, your Mom is one of the most beautiful, peaceful and real women out there. You know she's genuine and caring just being near her...and that's rare. I love that saying and think I might try it along with you, and I will also be thinking "But you probably aren't" as well!

The Dances said...

Love Aunt Val! That is valuable advice in life and relationships. I need to take a little bit of it I think. Maybe I'll start trying too.

Lara said...

Love the you might be right idea.

She just might be right about that!

I will try it.

Danielle said...

Such wisdom! I'm going to try it. A gem from Mark's mom is "Nevertheless..." whenever someone is arguing my answer. It's genius, and if you think that's easy for me to admit well...

Jessie Eyre said...

That, and "Now THAT'S an idea" are two of my brother's favorite things to say (he has a Master's Degree in Conflict Resolution). We always laugh when he says either one of them because we know he's just saying that to keep from letting people feel badly about their dumb ideas. Laughing. Sophie looks unbearably old...and yet adorably perfect. Give her loves from an old friend...

tonandboys said...

Oh, how I love your mom! She is the kindest and most gracious woman I have ever known. She is one of a handful of women in my life that I have admired all my life. I always wondered how such a busy mom, with such a large family of her own, always found a way to make me feel special and loved when she was around. As I am finding that my family is entering the teenage years, like it or not, I think I will borrow this advice and try it on for size. Love it!