For the Sake of Argument… or Not!

Those of you who have attended our Caregiver Connections education classes have heard the advice, “Don’t argue.”

Of course, this is easier said than done, as we all like to be right. When we hear someone say something that does not align with our beliefs or truths, the inclination is to correct that person.

My father used to say, “You don’t always have to be right.” As I ponder what he meant by this, I realize he was not saying it was OK to be wrong, but rather, I do not have to prove to everyone that I am right.

It is quite possible for two people to be “right” and since no one enjoys being wrong, there is often no benefit to be found in correcting others. Maybe what my dad meant was that it is fine to be “quietly right”, which means I could stick to my truth while allowing someone else to see things from their point of view.

Taking this approach goes a long way toward keeping peace. Having said this, there are times when disagreement is necessary. These situations often occur when we focus on one of the four tenets of care (Calm, Clean, Safe and Loved) that the Memory Center Charlotte stresses, Safe. For example, when managing medications becomes a point of contention, rather than arguing, this is a time when the caregiver must be strong and say, “This is non-negotiable because your safety depends on it.” I hope that this stance will leave little room for argument.

In other words, think about what matters before disagreeing with someone. Ask yourself, does it matter who is right and who is wrong? If it does not matter, let it go and as my dad said, ‘”You don’t always have to be right.”