Happy, or Right?

My Bestie Amelia is an incredibly insightful woman.  She’s always got some nugget of wisdom that I am grateful for.

Sometimes because her wisdom is so profound I wish to bow at her feet.

Other times because her wisdom is gained through hilarious experience.

This post is based on one of the profundities.

“There are two kinds of people. Those who would rather be happy. And those who would rather be right. Would you rather be right, or happy?”

Because I am awesome, right AND happy, I thought I would entertain the masses today with a quiz.

Scenario One: You are sitting with your friends, one of them a new mother.  She is telling you all how beautiful, gorgeous and amazing her new baby is. So easy, so lovely, sleeps well, feeds well and all round superstar of a kid.

Do you:

(a) Tell her how happy you are for her, how beautiful her baby is, and yes, you do agree that her baby is a superstar.

(b) Tell her how happy you are for her, but not to count her chickens before they’ve hatched. Your baby was a superstar too, but then they hit x age and now they are a terror.

Scenario Two: You write a Facebook status, blog post or comment on a photo that is not taken as it is meant, {or is taken exactly as it is meant} and people take offence.

Do you:

(a) Either ignore, delete, or laugh and respond jokingly and ironically to any trollish or mean comments. You eventually reply, just once, letting people know these kind of flaming comments are not appreciated.

(b) Respond to every single commenter that disagrees with you, at length, justifying your position and letting them know that you are happy with your choices, so they should stop judging you for judging them. Then you delete them. Then continue to post new updates on the situation, just so everyone knows you are taking this all so well.

Scenario Three: Your husband arrives home with a bottle of wine, a block of chocolate, an anniversary card in the form of a cake that says “Happy Anniversary Honey” and a set of diamond earrings/Coffee machine/insert gift of your choice here. It’s actually your birthday this week, and it was yesterday.

Do you:

(a) Take all gifts lovingly, happily and excitedly, as you try not to laugh hysterically. You even put out that evening. When he is sleeping you slip a handy calendar with all the important dates written in already into his pocket, as an early anniversary gift.

(b) Scream at him for forgetting your birthday, mixing it up with your anniversary which is not for 6 months, throw the cake on the floor, swig down the bottle of wine, put the chocolate in the freezer because your husband hates frozen chocolate and you refuse to share with him, and return the diamond earrings and exchange them for a stamped necklace that reads: “My husband can’t remember my birthday”. Sex is off the agenda until the next time he pisses you off, and then it will be off the agenda again.

If you answered mostly a’s, congratulations, you would rather be happy than right. You will go through life popular, with many friends.

You make mistakes, but you are always forgiven because you are so nice and centred.  You’ve been described as “zen”.  You probably do yoga.

Your funeral will include much praising of your people skills and possibly be broadcasted worldwide (too soon??), whilst images of your adoring fans weeping are shown on the evening news.

If you answered mostly b’s, congratulations, you would rather be right than happy. You will go through life, be very successful, but spend a lot of time losing friends and alienating people.

You never learn from your mistakes, because in your opinion you never actually make any.

Your funeral will include much praising of your drive and righteousness, and the singing and dancing in the streets will probably be reported in the news.

If, like me, you answered mostly a’s but know you have done things somewhat similar to the b’s, congratulations.  You are in the majority.  You will go through life like everybody else. Losing friends, making new ones, and hopefully learning from your mistakes.

Just a reminder to those who care to listen:

We all think we are in the right.

Chances are, at least 75% of the time we are not.

25% of the time we are dead wrong, and 50% of the time there is no right answer.

Expressing your opinion is more than welcome.

As long as you plan on doing so respectfully, keeping in mind that not everyone shares your own.

Sometimes, it’s not even the original act (blog post, conversation, rejection of anniversary gifts) that upsets people, but the lack of respect shown when they are brave enough to disagree or make a mistake.

So tell me, has there been a time when you’ve thought it more important to be right than happy? Or are you happy-go-lucky all the time? If you choose happy all the time, I’d like you to put an invite for me in your funeral plans, so I can get my mug on the TV, OK?

**Disclaimer: One or two of these scenarios are real and actually happened to me, or I have witnessed them recently.  One of them may or may not be a dream I had the other day…**