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Letters From The Fishbowl

The life, times, fiction, and mind-lint of V.B. Rising. Enter at your own risk, traveler, for here there be rants and misplaced modifiers.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Maximum Wrongosity. Also, SCIENCE!

The hardest thing in the universe is not death, disease, discomfort, love, calculus, sitting through The Wicker Man remake, not laughing onstage, or Captain Hammer's hammer.*

The hardest thing in the world is admitting you're wrong.

Admitting you're wrong is not just hard; it's damn near biologically impossible.  The human brain is hardwired to be an egotistical bastard.**  We are literally programmed to think that we are right, God damn it, and any attempt to convince us otherwise just makes us dig in our heels a little further.

Because I don't believe in half-assing things***, I present to you some SCIENCE! proof, and then submit some anecdotal evidence.

SCIENCE!  Proof of Genetic Douchebaggery

5 Logical Fallacies That Make You Wrong More Than You Think - Cracked.com

Now, before you bitch and moan about how Cracked.com is not exactly the Scientific American, allow me to acknowledge that I already fucking know that.  What I am suggesting you do is read this article, as I did, and then follow the clicky-links embedded within it to find SCIENCE!  Why did I not just provide direct links to the SCIENCE!?  Because, if you're anything like me, and nothing like my boyfriend, you prefer your SCIENCE! in pre-translated, easily-digestible little nuggets.  Also, this was way easier.

Anyshit, as you will see by reading this article and any of the other "OMG Your Brian, It Is So Dumb" articles you can find on Cracked.com, your brain has any number of douchebag tricks it can play on you to make you into an idiot (although, luckily, you'll be blissfully unaware of your own idiocy most of the time, so go you!).  But for my money, being dead wrong, yet convinced that I'm right (a situation I shall henceforth refer to as Maximum Wrongosity), is the most heinous of crimes.

There are tons of examples of Maximum Wrongosity in the world, and since everyone has had the frustrating experience of trying to reason with a Wronggity Wrong Wronghead, I don't think I need to list them all here.  But I promised you anecdotal evidence, and ancedotal evidence you shall have!

Yesterday, I got in a fight with my boyfriend.  Long story short, I woke up with one version of the upcoming day in my head, he had another, and when we tried to reconcile those two expectations, one of us threw a little baby fit, and I think we all know it was this bitch.  Instead of saying to Robert, "I took the day off so we could hang, let's not clean.  Let's do something else," I decided that he didn't want to spend time with me, that he should have cleaned the house himself if he wanted it clean so badly, and that he had absolutely NO RIGHT to ask me to do anthing that even slightly displeased me.

But I couldn't say that.  Rob wanted to do the responsible thing that we both knew had to be done, and I couldn't say no because I didn't want to seem like a brat.

But the problem was that, because I was resentful of not getting to do what I wanted that day (read: nothing), I was cranky.  And being cranky, I went about the day Robert had planned for us, and every single thing that didn't immediately bend to my will made me more and more irritable until finally I found myself collapsing into a crying fit because I just couldn't take this shit anymore and FUCK ROB for ruining my whole life forever.****

So Robert found me thus, and we argued some and yelled some, and finally, he said, "I'm sorry, but I really don't understand what you're so upset about.  Tell me and we can fix it."

At which point, I (the victim here, remember?) took a deep, shaking, martyred breath, and opened my mouth to tell him why he was so fucking wrong that it hurt to look at him, such was the corona of shining wrongness about him, and immediately realized I had no idea why I was so upset.  Quickly, panicking, I mentally ran through all of the reasons I was mad, only to find that it was a short fucking list and that Rob was to blame for none of the items.  I didn't have a reason to be upset; I had gotten myself worked up into this state.

Now the real irony here is that I didn't beg off of cleaning because I didn't want to look like a brat.  So instead, I slammed every door I encountered, yelled at the cats, was verbally and physically abusive the toilet as I cleaned it, and ended up sobbing and yelling and generally being a dick.  Yeah.  Way to avoid bratty behavior, V.  Super kudos.

So there I was, trying desperately to think of a reason I was right, and not finding one.  I couldn't even find a barely-plausible bullshit reason I was right, some little seed of rightness I could grow into a twisted little rightberry bush.  I mean, I had nothing, and now I knew it.

I'm proud to say that, faced with my own Maximum Wrongosity, I was able to take another deep breath and apologize, and admit to Robert that I was, at this point, just mad for the sake of being mad.  But believe me, it was HARD.  And this is coming from someone who has been actively working for years at gracefully admitting her own wrongness when the situation arises.  It's one thing to tell your coworker, "Oh yeah, that's my mistake, sorry," and quite another to have to look your boyfriend in that face and say, "That highly-charge emotional trainwreck we're debating?  About that.  I was wrong, wrong, so very wrong."

But I did it.  Every word more difficult to spit out than the one before, I did it.  It sucked.  It felt like throwing up.

And here's the real kick in the ass.  The reason it was so hard was thus: even though I knew I was wrong in every way, even though I knew I had behaved horribly, even though I knew that to not own up and apologize would make me one of those people I loathe with the entirety of my being, my brain was still screaming, "YOU'RE RIGHT!!!  YOU'RE RIGHT!!!  FUCK HIM!!!  YELL SOME MORE ABOUT SOMETHING UNRELATED AND MAYBE HE'LL SAY HE WAS WRONG!!!  DON'T YOU DARE APOLOGIZE, YOU LITTLE PANSY!!!  YOU'RE RIGHT!!!  YOU'RE RIGHT!!!    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!"

See?  Bastard.

Robert was very understanding, by the way.  He gave me time to cool off, told me that bathroom looked great, and then we took the rest of the day off to have lunch together and go shopping.  During which, I was glowing with the sense of accomplishment one only gets from outwitting one's own biology and separating oneself from the animals.  Fuck you, brain full of wrong, I am better than my nature!

To recap: being absolutely 100% certain of your own unimpeachable rightness only to find out you're actually just an asshat sucks.  Admitting it is worse, like trying to pull your own teeth.  But you should try to do it anyway, because that's part of what being a worthwhile person is all about, Charlie Brown.

So, if you ever find yourself having a heated debate, and you get that stomach-dropping feeling of not having a logical leg upon which to stand your argument, do try and at least consider that you might not be as right as you thought.  Granted, the other person might just be a goddamn moron.  There's every possibility in the world that they are.

Or you might just be another tragic victim of Maximum Wrongosity.

DOO-DOO DOO-DOO DOO-DOO DOO-DOO!*****







*The hammer is his penis.
**A bastard-coated bastard with bastard filling.  Shit, I am totally out-referencing myself today.
***Ha!
****Don't judge me, bitches, we've all done it.
*****There's- something- on the wing!

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