February Focus: Day 3
I like to think I’m right about things more often than not. Whether it’s a fact or a feeling, I usually get at least part of it right. And if I’m wrong, I’ll always admit it. There’s no problem in doing that. I’ll even give myself the benefit of the doubt that I could be wrong about something, even if my gut instinct tells me to keep the course. But the one thing I haven’t figured out yet is this attitude I get from people when they challenge my right answer. It’s like people have no problem steamrolling me and telling me I’m wrong, and I just sit back and take it. My battle stops when I hit a brick wall, and I let people come to their own conclusions. But is it possible I’ve built myself up enough as an unreliable narrator to where people don’t even want to hear me out?
For example, today during the January jobs report, my co-worker and I fell into a disagreement about year-over-year data versus monthly data. I said we needed to use data from the monthly column while a producer made a graphic using yearly data. I pointed out where I was pulling the data from, and was told I’m wrong. No wiggle room, just “no.” While this could be a personality thing, I pursed my lips and stopped arguing, as I wasn’t leading the show today anyway. It wasn’t going to fall on me. What else could I do? Then there was a moment when she asked our economic producer for clarification, who revealed to her the correct data. And guess what? “Gina, you were right,” she said. “Thank you,” I told her, and moved on from it. The one thing I’ll never say is “I told you so.” But is there ever going to be a time where I’m not constantly running into opposition? Will I ever get it right the first time when I’m right all along?
Perhaps what I’m thinking is impossible. It’s not like I expect everyone to just bow at my feet every time I have a thought about something. But is there anything I can do to state my case clearer so I don’t feel ganged up on? Why am I constantly fighting a losing battle, even if I come out the winner? Am I doing something wrong? Is struggle just part of my game of life?
These are the rhetorical questions that keep me up at night. Maybe it’s just as easy as reminding myself that not everyone has the self-awareness I’ve been working on my entire life. That maybe I’m the one who needs a minute to listen to the cues and not overthink things. There’s nothing wrong here, people are going to disagree all the time. And maybe there’s no big push against me. Maybe it’s just how I feel and how I perceive it. Thought it would be nice to get a little credit where credit is due, especially when the one thing I still feel right about this entire time proves as much. And when that time does come, I can’t gloat about it. It’ll just be one more checkmark on my list of things I’ve always known. What happens after that, I can’t say. But I can tell you that you’ll be glad you listened to me when you did.