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Why do we like to be correct?

In this pilot episode of Not Overthinking, we discuss our reasons for starting the podcast, and then have a chat about why we feel the urge to be correct in everyday conversation.

Some of the highlights from our discussion:

There are times when social interaction can feel like someone’s trying to score points with or against us. The person thinks they might be scoring a positive point by correcting often a meaningless detail about something trivial but in fact, they might be negatively affecting the conversation dynamic and their own social interaction abilities.

There is an urge of absolute truth which people sometimes value about something that might not be important. Taimur describes this as an antipattern, which is a behaviour people fall into that wasn’t intended. Perhaps it’s ingrained in us during our school years when correct answers score points with teachers but its applicability declines as we get older. However, there are exceptions such as the medical field, where knowing a lot of details and specifics is valued.

In the book Happy by Derren Brown, the writer mentions that we think people want us to be impressive when, in fact, it’s warmth that gets people to connect. Impressing people with the things that you know or accolades that you have achieved, never get people to connect. That being said, in our society, our culture seems to value that idea of ‘being impressive’ even though the emotional impact is limited.


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We really want to include more listener comments and questions in our episodes. If you've got any thoughts on this episode, or if you've got a conundrum or question you'd like us to discuss, send an audio file / voice note to hi@notoverthinking.com.