I used to strive to win every argument and point out every flaw in people’s reasoning.
Two things happen when you do that.
First, you will not be a very popular conversation partner.
Second, sometimes it will hit you in the face, because you will make mistakes.
Let it go!
You don’t have to be right all the time!
You don’t have to win every fight.
You don’t have to change lanes in front of that car. Many of us tend to be competitive even when there’s no competition, and the results do not matter. Make a decision that you will give in and let go in everyday mundane matters.
Letting go is not defeat or losing; you make a choice to let the other person have it.
The fact that you can choose to lose, means you have the strength to win. ~ Priit Kallas
You will avoid a lot of stress and frustration.
Try losing arguments
Point out the holes in your argumentation but don’t flip to the opposing argument. Just state your case and point out the holes or the aspects the other side has missed. Lay back and watch the other person fry their brains trying to figure out what you are doing.
If you know for a fact that the average distance to the sun is 92.96 million miles and they say its 149 million miles.
Don’t argue with that.
Just say you are not sure and have to check your facts.
Avoid being passive aggressive. If you say something like “sure, whatever,” then you simply tell the other person they are stupid, and you don’t want to deal with it.
You shouldn’t give circumstances the power to rouse anger, for they don’t care at all. ~ Marcus Aurelius
Another way to learn from losing arguments is to listen and repeat their position back. Do it in a way that they can say “yeah, that’s right.” Use this technique to overcome radical differences. Sometimes, it will move your opponent’s position towards you. In others, you will move closer to them.
Either way, it’s a learning experience.
If you have something critical coming up then, of course, don’t try to lose, and make an exception for that one conversation.
Defer to others
Let people pass you in lines.
You can do it reactively; when someone cuts the line, you will not make a big deal out of it and let them have their small victory. Or you can be proactive and tell someone “you have only a few items, go first.”
Let that car make the turn even if you have the right of way. Keep in mind that in traffic you have to make sure you don’t block others who have the right of way.
Of course, defer to less protected people in traffic: pedestrians, bicyclists, and yes, even those obnoxious people on motorcycles.
You are sitting in the car.
There’s no wind or rain.
No weather at all.
Just let it go.
Let others go before you. Letting others have the first pick will help you slow down and be less worried about the result. You can take it as a random act of kindness to a stranger.
Make sure that there is someone to help you out when kids want ten pounds of candy and an ice cream.
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. ~ Lao Tzu
Volunteer to do the thing nobody wants to do
Don’t wait to be the one to draw the shortest straw. Step up and take the job, as a bonus it will build your willpower.
Help clean up after social events. If you give someone a ride take them to their doorstep. Don’t avoid the homeless guy, give him something even if you know he will spend it on booze.
Don’t weasel out, do the right thing and help people.
It doesn’t matter that you are right.
For most people apologizing is just explaining why they were right in doing what they did.
Don’t do that.
If someone feels wronged, your half-baked combination of apology and explanation won’t do anything to make the situation better.
Suck it up! Apologize!
If they are upset with you then in their eyes, you are to blame. Say that you are sorry about what happened and ask what you can do to fix the situation. You can fight to be right or just focus on fixing the situation.
Get a step-by-step guide on how to make your apologies more effective.
One thing I’ve learned about life is that if you really let go, it’s just a joy ride. ~ Ricky Williams
Give yourself a break
But letting go is not only about other people. You may want to beat your previous results in exercising. Pumping more iron, running more and faster miles. Giving it your all is commendable, but from time to time you have to let go.
If that ripped triathlete passes you on the track, you don’t have to keep up. Or this may relate to your work. If you have set a goal to close 10 deals every week, it may feel like a failure to do less. But give yourself a break every once in a while and take it easy.
Figure out how long you can go full speed. Schedule some downtime after that.
For example, run every day for six days and then take one day off. Or you may work two weeks with a maximum load and then take two or three days at 50 percent.
Getting your impulsive reactions under control
I have found that letting it go is an excellent way to improve your self-control in situations that really matter. Sometimes people have a short fuse, they explode and go into fight mode. This can happen even to the most stoic person.
Not a good thing!
It should be your conscious decision, what mode you want to be in. Your lizard brain should not interfere with your plans. Letting it go will help you prepare for situations like this. Practice in situations where the stakes are low. Low stakes practice will build up your ability to respond when it really matters.
And then, when it matters, you can make a calm decision if you want to let it go or fight for it.
Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties. ~ Erich Fromm
Deciding to let it go is not a weakness
Often letting it go is a strength. For example:
- deferring to others,
- taking the job nobody else wants to do,
It’s a strength, and it will build your character for the future. You can let it go but don’t give up.
Remember that this is a decision and you don’t use that to justify failure. Be honest with yourself, and this will grow you.
I have a daily writing habit. As of today, I have written at least 500 words per day for more than 1,200 days in a row.
It is unsustainable.
Maybe I will write 10 thousand days in a row. Maybe I will get hit by a car tomorrow and can’t write that day. Build your mental toughness, so you can take whatever comes your way.
When I visited Miami in April 2018, I ran with Raven. He has run every day for more than 15,000 days. There will be a day when you have to break the chain.
Do it on your terms.
As long as it’s your decision and not permanent, it’s a break for you.
Choose your battles
To get results, we must grind daily. Letting go is something you do every now and then. Sometimes you need a break. Or you let others take advantage of the situation, maybe apologize for something you really weren’t responsible for.
You will be a bigger person and feel good about yourself.
Here’s a warning, use your head to decide when it’s the right time to let go. If you are hanging on a cliff by your fingernails, then you might want to give it your all.
Choose your battles wisely. After all, life isn’t measured by how many times you stood up to fight. It’s not winning battles that makes you happy, but it’s how many times you turned away and chose to look into a better direction. Life is too short to spend it on warring. Fight only the most, most, most important ones, let the rest go. ~ C. JoyBell C.
Now go out and lift less weight, run your usual distance with the slowest time in a month.
Go ahead and lose some arguments.
Image: Letting It Go by Alan Turkus
Image: Snøgropa i Trysil by Skistar Trysil
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
This Post Has 2 Comments
Oh man, you are awesome, your article about letting go has blown my mind. Recently I am taking the talks of other people very seriously and make myself anxious and stressed. Then I realized that is just haters who try to pull me down. I have read some haters quotes and one of them I found interesting which is “Haters see you walk on water and will say it’s because you can’t swim.”
Thank you for your comment! You should always focus on the things that make you better. Other people, who don’t like you, will not help you improve.