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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

A few months ago, I sat in awe as my boss argued with a customer over a trivial situation. It was bewildering to see the lengths he would go to in order to prove that his argument was correct. My coworkers and I knew he was right, but his challenging attitude didn’t help convince the customer. Not having learned from his mistake, our boss demonstrated that same arrogance at an employee meeting, a few months later. However, this time, as much as he tried to prove his argument, he was wrong. 

These situations got me thinking about the amount of energy people spend trying to convince others that they’re right. If we know that nobody is perfect, why is it so hard for some of us to let the situation go and accept when we’re wrong? Ego, that’s why. Although the concept denotes several different constructs, ego is mainly understood as a person’s sense of self-worth. So, the bigger the ego, the higher the person esteems him or herself. 

Ego is (not) your best friend

While it’s important to have a healthy sense of confidence, overindulging your ego won’t get you far in your relationships. Since those who lack self-awareness can’t see their faults unless someone points them out, taking accountability could prove difficult. Sometimes, gently explaining why they’re wrong could help ease the tension, increasing the chances that the other party might admit defeat. However, some people may pretend to be unaware that they’re wrong as soon as they feel their ego is being threatened. This is a huge problem.

Fueling a stubborn ego instead of letting your guard down limits personal growth. Since you’re so busy thinking about what you need and what you want, you don’t learn to listen and empathize with others. This inflexibility can rupture your relationships as people begin to tire of dealing with your egotistical ways. So, if you don’t want all your relationships to slowly fade away, it’s important that you start acknowledging when you’re wrong. 

(Not) everything is worth arguing over 

Once you’re in an argument, evaluate the problem at hand. How important is it for you to be right? Is it a life-or-death situation? Is it a trivial dispute that can be solved any other way? Arguing to make a point is valid when it involves serious issues. However, if the root of your dispute is to prove that chocolate is better than vanilla, then your argument is based on opinions. If it’s not a fact, why keep arguing? 

The need we feel to win is our ego taking the wheel. Since our thoughts and behaviors are preconditioned by our ideologies, our opinions are completely subjective. We need to start taking other perspectives into consideration. We can’t always be right. That’s just how life works. But, if instead of arguing we choose to have open discussions, we might end up in a win-win situation where both parties can reach a sort of compromise.

Some battles are (not) winnable

While I’m a firm believer in educating the ignorant, I’m not keen on wasting time and energy on people who don’t accept when they’re wrong. So, if someone remains stubborn even after being called out, it’s best to turn in the gloves. These kinds of people hang on to their ego so tight that they lack the emotional maturity to humbly walk away and get defensive instead. Choosing your battles accordingly is a healthy way to avoid harmful and stressful arguments. 

Since our ego accompanies us throughout our lifetime, letting go of it can be a difficult task. However, it is a journey we need to take if we aspire to be sympathetic and understanding human beings. We can’t always be rightーit just isn’t healthy. Living our lives without admitting our faults will only push people away from us. Furthermore, it’ll inhibit us from listening to healthy critiques that might allow us to grow.

Andrea is currently majoring in Journalism at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. She’s an introverted empath who enjoys long drives while listening to good music. When it’s time to sit down and write, coffee and Led Zeppelin serve as her inspiration.
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