How NOT to be Happy Tip 9: Always be right

This is the ninth of 10 tips for unwavering woe

The ocean of discontent is fraught with dangers – from blithe buccaneers to distress-eating sharks. In navigating these perilous seas, one of the surest ways to keep your waters stormy is to make a commitment to always being right.

The question ‘Do you want to be happy or right?’ is a helpful one. It alerts miseratis and woe-foes alike to the reality that you can’t always be both; you need to pick a side. If you think fence-sitting will work – well, look what happened to Humpty.

Always being right has two big advantages in avoiding happiness:

1. You don’t learn anything new or broaden your horizons (and let’s face it: the existing horizons are enough of a problem on open waters).

Woe-foes admit to not knowing or even – are you sitting down? – being wrong about things, and the consequences are dire. They’re forced to accommodate new information, sometimes confronting the fabled ‘other side’ of an issue – and before you can say ‘shiver me timbers’ their rogers are irksomely jolly.

By contrast, if you’re always right you get to stay limited to the small sum of knowledge you acquired before your ego assumed guard duty, probably around age 7. Think Wikipedia where the only contributor is you. Nice.

2. You become a colossal pain in the butt.

Being right about everything virtually guarantees you’ll never be a fisherman’s friend – or anyone else’s for that matter. People who admit to being wrong suffer the respect and liking of their peers as well as other harbingers of smooth sailing on the friendship.

Instead, let the saying ‘no-one likes a smart-ass’ be your compass: keep your ass smart and woe shall betide you.

Being right requires you to invest considerable time, energy and the occasional fisticuff into defending your point. To help hone your correctitude, try these pointers:

  • Smarten your ass
    Offer digressive facts, irrelevant corrections and tedious myth-busting revelations at every opportunity. If you have the information on good authority, fine; but don’t let dubious sources stop you from holding forth. Keep the volume and obnoxiousness turned up to 11.
  • Chant this mantra: I think, therefore I am right
    In disagreements, see others as encumbered by mere opinion while you yourself enjoy direct access to reality, truth, and The Way It Is. Accordingly, let a haughty tone pervade everything you say. Sprinkle your responses with a small, superior laugh.
  • Make it personal
    In many cases your sheer bombast will stave off inquiry. However, should you find yourself impeached, quickly resort to sarcasm, put-downs and offensive remarks – anything that has your challenger defending their  hygiene/lobotomy history/mother’s personal predilections and distracted from the issue at hand. If all else fails, execute the cunning hey-look-over-there technique. It works for politicians.
  • Don’t let them get you with their legal mumbo jumbo
    You have to be quick in your sleight of mouth and dogged in your arrogance to prevent an argument from deteriorating into the use of logic, fact, or evidence. Once that happens, you’re going to need a bigger boat.

With a little practice, you’ll be clinging to being right like it’s a mast in a storm. But don’t just dip your woe in the water, take the plunge – you’ll discover new depths of despair.

Other tips in this series of 10 tips for unwavering woe:

By Michele Connolly

Choose to be happier – and you will be.

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