Turns Out I’m Right

I had a disagreement with Bubbs during lunch today.  We saw these snow globes at Kalm’s and she said the figurines in the globes look like the ones at this exhibition she saw in HK.  She said it was by the same guy who authored "Turn Left Turn Right" (TLTR).  I peeped under 1 of the snow globes and told her she’s right because I saw Jimmy Liao’s (famous comic illustrator and author) signature at the bottom of the globe.  I then commented that Jimmy Liao’s a very well known Taiwanese illustrator but Bubbs insisted that TLTR was by a Japanese fellow. 

I elaborated, saying that it’s by Jimmy Liao and he’s Taiwanese and I know this for sure ‘cos I’m a small fan of his and even my wallet is from his range of merchandise!  I opened my wallet to show her the illustrations on it and his signature imprint but Bubbs still insisted TLTR was by a Japanese author.

I paused for a moment when I realised that we were in a stalmate.  Should I back off and leave it open?  Say that maybe she’s right?  Or should I insist that I am correct?  I mean, there are times when we have to agree to disagree and there are times when it’s an open conclusion where no one is right or wrong per se.  However, this time, I decided to stand my ground.  After all, this was a factual "debate" we were having and if I know I’m right, then I should be firm.

In the end, I said that I’m sure I’m correct and we can verify it when we get back to office… which I just did.  Did a google search on TLTR and the author is Jimmy Liao.

Anyway, the reason why I’m writing about the above is because it happened to be the latest incident where I’m debating with someone over something factual and I have that momentary dilemma over how pushy should I be.  I realised that when proven wrong, most people will just shrug their shoulders and let it go ‘cos it’s no big deal to them.  But it upsets me because I do not insist I am in the right, unless I know 100% ("confirm, guarantee + stamp") that I got my facts right.  Being a kiasu person, if I had even an ounce of a doubt, I would never insist that I am right.  I would then go along the lines of, "I believe it’s this but I can’t be totally sure because <insert reason here>".

So that’s me.  I’m careful with my choice of words when it comes to any debate or disagreement.  It bugs and sometimes irks me that most people take such "arguments" lightly.  Even if it’s not a serious issue that’s being discussed, I think people should still weigh their words carefully and only insist their ground when they are absolutely sure that they got their facts right.  I hate it when people insist on their opinion and then do a 180deg turn when proven wrong.  I feel that this makes a person lose credibility ‘cos if you behave this way over a small, unimportant thing, you will also react similarly to a serious matter.  After all, it’s a person’s attitude and mentality that’s the crux of it.  Not so much the importance of the subject matter being argued over.

I guess the reason this is a big deal to me is because I only make a firm stand when I know I’m right.  And when I say I know I’m right, this is because I can back it up with other facts, snippets of information, background stories, etc.  Thus, when the other party disagrees or chooses to argue with me, I feel that the other person is questioning my integrity.  It’s the “I’m telling the truth why won’t you believe me” feeling that I really detest.  But I suppose I have to change my mindset ‘cos it appears that I’m the only person I know that lives by this principle.  Crap.

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December 2008