It’s day 3 of Blogtember! Today’s prompt: Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered.
When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up in my kindergarten graduation video, I said “a lawyer” (in an incredibly cute little southern drawl, of course). As far back as I can remember, I was told I should be a lawyer and I embraced the concept wholeheartedly (even if I didn’t fully understand it). As my grandma will quickly tell anyone who will listen, I would quite literally argue with a brick wall just for the heck of it.
In the midst of me being generally contrary, my mom used to tell me that “you get further by persuading people than by arguing with them,” all the time. I admit that I’m a little ashamed that it took me longer than it should have to fully understand exactly what she meant by this gem. But somewhere along the way, it clicked. Arguing with someone only puts both people on the defensive. The true “art” behind achieving a goal is persuading the other person that you can accomplish your goal and you deserve to do so. In fact, accomplishing your goal will benefit everyone! Accomplishing a goal is waayyy more satisfying when all parties leave feeling that a fair outcome has been achieved. I suppose this piece of advice is really a roundabout way of saying “make your point but be willing to compromise.”
As it turns out, I did make it to law school eventually (yay UM), and I must say this lesson served me well there and in my career. Anyone who has ever been in front of a judge can tell you just how far being argumentative does not get you… But I have found that the principle holds the truest in my everyday interactions. To bring in another pearl of wisdom that goes right along with mom’s advice – people may not always remember what you said, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel.