MUST We Always Be Correct? The Conversation Killer

This morning, Anita and I were talking about how some of our circle participate in conversations. There are some issues where a couple of the folks really like to be correct and make sure everyone knows their version of the facts. Other people are sensitive about being “corrected” in public. During these conversations, I am mostly conspicuously quiet.

Let me tell you this about that! My dad always said that.

Why am I quiet? When one of these fact-slinging fests starts up, I quickly decide for myself whether MY version of what is correct is important enough for me to interject it and possibly get into an argument or make someone feel stupid. Usually, it simply isn’t. Whether Family Member A is citing outdated statistics to prove a point or Family Member B doesn’t remember a historical fact accurately is really their problem.

What happens is that the conversation is effectively killed when someone declares, “This is the only answer. The end.” (Meanwhile, I’m over there googling.)

If I think it’s a “teachable moment” where the people in the conversation are actually interested in learning some things I happen to know, I might chime in. If I can tell the conversants are mostly wanting to just Be Right, I don’t bother. It might be the case that they need to know something, but I’ll bring it up later, or send them a link.

This is always in the back of my mind.

As for me, I don’t mind being “corrected” in a conversation. I am pretty sure I don’t know everything, and I like learning, a lot. Even if someone sounds condescending, I’ll try to bring things around to a discussion of equals.

As I talked to Anita, it occurred to me that there are people whose “rightness” is their way to feel that they have some power over others. I still remember the boyfriend who got truly upset when I showed him he was wrong about something that I felt important enough to argue about. He informed me that, as head of the household, he was not used to having his word questioned. I informed him that he was in a partnership, not a master-servant relationship, and that the partnership was not going to last any longer (not in those exact words…that’s the gist of the conversation minus crying, which I used to do a lot of).

The partnership was over. But, he learned something that day. We remain friends.

I know everything. Just listen to me.

Over the years, I’ve grown less and less inclined to insert my correctness into conversations. I let people tell me that Appalachians are still speaking Elizabethan English. It doesn’t harm them to think that. My knowledge of how language changes would bore them to death anyway. And if some folks in my circle tell me their pet theory about this or that, I just listen and thank them for their input. Most of the time, explaining what I think doesn’t change a thing. This gives me more time to look at the dogs, watch the leaves change color, etc.

There are just too many versions of right and wrong, and besides, I hear we are in a post-factual society now, anyway. (Just kidding. Facts matter.)

To Think About

So, if you find yourself feeling driven to correct people’s misconceptions or factual errors, look into your heart to see if you genuinely want them to learn something they NEED to know, or if you are mostly talking to prove you know better than them. Is that necessary? Is it worth the consequences? It’s for you to decide.

So, does this make sense or am I being a conversation squisher?

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


All Things Crochet!

Crissi McDonald

Heartline Horse Training

sara annon

seeking the middle path

Tonya's Tall Tales

My life with horses, bunnies, chickens, ducks, and cows.

rfljenksy - Practicing Simplicity

Legendary Whining and Dining World Tour.

The Backyard Horse Blog

All about keeping horses at home

Hazel's Animal Adventures

My life on the ranch.

Katie Zapfel

Children's book author. Mom blogger.

365 Knit Socks

I knit a lot of socks

Coach, author and educator

The daily addict

The daily life of an addict in recovery

Just Vee

A regular gal who likes to stop and smell the flowers.

Happy Heidi's Happenings

My life in the country.


A family of dog lovers, owners & breeders since 2015

The Adventures of a Mountain Coward

panic-stricken mountain adventuring!

Something Over Tea

Scribbles from my notebook

The Renegade Press

Tales from the mouth of a wolf

Heccateisis's Blog

Just another weblog

The Upstate Gardener

The Upstate Gardening blog with Gardening Information, Recipies, Home Improvement Ideas, and Crafts Projects to make your life more beautiful and healthy.

Nature And Photography

Bring Nature Into Life


no streetlights, just star light

Words and Stitches

woolgathering at its best

The Grief Reality

Normalising the conversation about Grief.

Art Studio Dumfriesshire

The Creative Pixie

eat up some crafty goodness with this creative mama

Writings of a Furious Woman

My thoughts, sentiments, and scribbles on womanhood

Paws Bark

Dogs Leave Paw Print in your Heart

Yeshua's Child Art

Art that Expresses the Heart

Chicken Coop Plans

Build Your Chicken a Home

Writing about...Writing

Some coffee, a keyboard and my soul! My first true friends!

Leaf And Twig

Where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry.

Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Cathartic Tendencies

motivational posts, rants, and stories!

Featuring Fine Arts & Crafts created and sold by Texans

Seasons As My Teacher

Truth Written In The Wind


Aging & Attitude

The Tragedy Kween

A boisterous introvert illustrating her way through life.

%d bloggers like this: