September 13, 2012

Over Vs. Under

Which Way Should It Go On?

Grandma and I have never seen eye to eye on this fundamental question of bathroom etiquette. I'm an over-the-top kinda guy (the RIGHT way) ... and she's always preferred to pull-from-underneath (the WRONG way, lol). Her argument about kids not being able to spin the roll onto the floor just doesn't cut it when there are no kids around, and anyone who's ever seen printed rolls must realize the printing is designed to be viewed as the roll feeds over the top .... We actually use to make it a point to change it every time we went into the bathroom ... and you could always tell who was in there last.

You may remember that a few years back, one of the toilet paper manufacturers actually did a survey on this issue ... and the verdict was that 78% of people, an overwhelmingly large majority (pun definitely intended), prefer the paper to be loaded coming over the top. Of course this justified my position, but Grandma just says 'that means most people are wrong.'

We all have our beliefs and opinions, and we all feel that we are 'right' about them. I think we need to learn that we are all different, we don't always have to agree, and as long as we get to use it when we're done, it really doesn't matter which direction the paper faces ....

But I Need To Be Right!

The next time you find yourself in a situation where you just know you're right and someone else is wrong, stop and ask yourself why it's important.

If your stand will prevent someone from being hurt, then stick to your guns. You should NEVER let your friends drive drunk, even if they SWEAR they are fine, and it really IS a bad idea to check for a gas leak with your lighter.

On the other hand, if your getting ready to argue about something that really doesn't matter ... maybe you need to think first. If you know you are right, and it's not going to hurt anyone for the other person to be wrong, then just let them think they're right, smile and move on. I think that those who tend to argue the strongest about little things either aren't really sure they are right (and are trying to convince themselves as much as the other guy), or their self-image is so poor that they just can't handle being thought wrong by anybody else.

Far too often, we let our egos, and our need to be seen as bigger, smarter, faster or better cloud our judgements, and then we wonder just why so-and-so doesn't like us and why we drifted away from someone we loved.

Know When To Admit Defeat

One of the hardest things for people to say, is "I was wrong."  A little less difficult is "You were right," and "I'm sorry" is many times said, but only as words, instead of a regret for our words or actions. If a disagreement is one of opinions, then the possibility exists that you are right - but that doesn't mean the other person is wrong! It just means you have different opinions.

I have friends (and some relatives) who love to argue ... I'm sure you do too. And heaven forbid you should actually prove that one of their beliefs is wrong. I've actually seen long-term friendships torn apart, because one of them just HAD to be right, and the other just COULDN'T admit they were wrong.

If you do find yourself in a dispute, and you discover that you were wrong, don't be afraid to admit it. None of us are perfect, and if you truly value your relationship with someone, then don't just let them be right, but tell them when they are. I truly think that a heartfelt apology to someone whose beliefs and ideals we have doubted or disparaged, may just be the most important ingredient in maintaining healthy and long-lasting friendships.

The Litmus Test

Keep in mind that you are going to have disputes in your life. You are not going to agree with everyone all the time, and there will be times that you should stand firm in your beliefs, your ideals and your opinions. You can successfully persuade others to agree with you sometimes, and sometimes you will be persuaded to agree with them, but an argument, as opposed to a discussion, rarely provides the intended results for either party.

If you are unsure about whether or not to firmly and actively defend your thoughts, again provided that no one will be hurt, you can use this simple test. Ask yourself the following question:

Five years down the road, will this opinion really matter, and is my being right worth the very real possibility of losing the other person as a friend?

If not, then either agree to disagree, consider that you might just be wrong, or at the very least allow the other person the dignity of maintaining their belief that they are right.

Even though I know that I'm right about the over-the-top toilet paper, I don't actually argue with Grandma about it, because she knows she's right too ... and in the end, it just doesn't matter ... she matters to me, so I smile and let it go.

(Besides, you can always just turn the roll around before you sit down.)

From Grandpa's Heart ...

1 comment:

  1. Just another reason why we get along so well!! Definitely needs to go over :) As children, I feel like we were expected to play around with the toilet paper and get scolded. I mean, its something that ties all generations together! Great post again!!