When Is It Time To Drop The Rope? And Why Do That?

Hey there, hero!

You might find yourself, as I do from time to time, in a conversation with someone who insists on being right.

Even over being effective, helpful or generous. The struggle between the two of you goes on and on, much like a tug of war.

And in those cases, consider this: drop the rope.


Hope this helps!



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  1. I agree 100%. That being said, personally, this is something that comes with age. It takes time to experience something over and over again and to just say “Enough, it doesn’t matter” and/or “That person doesn’t matter enough to me.”

    I used to be the person that had to be right all the time, especially at home. Now I just let things go and it’s led to a much calmer existence – not having the struggle to prove anything.

    Great content as always, David!

  2. Well said. Maybe the MOST important point that you aptly hit on was the alternates to exiting the discussion.

    Saying: “You know what? I’m dropping the rope. It was good chatting.” or some derivative is indeed a good course of action and can save time and energy by not engaging in a vexing discussion.
    That can come off looking like one is proclaiming moral/intellectual superiority over the other. Though not the intent, the old adage: “It’s not what you are doing but what people ‘think’ you are doing that often matters.” Right or wrong, that is often the reality of human nature and interaction.

    Your alternative method of saying “You know what, you *may* be right.”, is a far more effective because in addition to the reasons you mentioned, this approach also leaves an opening for the possibility that one may have actually been wrong and were conversing under a condition of bias or tunnel vision (the unattractive element that was assumed in the other person). This allows us to constantly check ourselves with introspection and to have a chance at executing on the virtue: “To SEEK to understand rather than being understood.”

    Love your posts David and hope you are well!

    1. I can see how do you might’ve thought that I actually say that I’m dropping the rope. I don’t. I may have given you that impression in the video, but all I say is “you may be right.” I agree it would be a little high handed to actually say “I’m dropping the rope.”

  3. I love “You know you MAY be right.” It is much more gracious than I usually am in these situations and I’m going to adopt this from now on. Thanks for this.

  4. Great piece of advice. What a great tool to have in your pocket when you just don’t want to argue about something. Thank you for wonderful content as always.

  5. David, this is so timely, especially since it’s the holidays and we’re all dealing with so many people we don’t see on a frequent basis. I drop the rop a lot with three of my family members, who also feel that they can win by getting progressively louder. My response is, “We’ll have to agree to disagree,” and then I move on to another topic or just calmly exit the room. People who HAVE to win have deep-seated psychological issues, as I’ve discovered, and they will do whatever they can to win at any cost — even at the risk of their appearing stupid, woefully uninformed, childishly rude, or all of the above. It’s not worth my time or energy, so I pleasantly leave them. I then go off to speak with others who are more open to a genuine exchange of conversation.

  6. Everyone runs into “experts” from time to time that always have to be right even if they are misinformed or it’s only an opinion. Trying to correct them with facts just makes them louder and more insistent. In the greater scheme of things it’s just not worth prolonging it. Drop … that … rope! They will feel like the winner and you’ll win back some of your time.

  7. I heard, “You may be right”, and I immediately went to “I may be crazy”. I also went to “Oh, I feel like letting go” (Paul McCartney, 1974). Sometimes, I’ll utter something like “If you say so” (Dickenson to Adams, “1776”), or my wife will save me on those occasions. Free associating with me can be very expensive.

  8. A couple decades ago, sales trainer Chris Lytle spoke of another way to handle this oh, I like having many tools in the toolbox. His phrase was, “Yes, and at the same time…” now you are not telling them that they are wrong, and yet that there is another truth that may be there at the same time. They are not backed into the corner to argue their point so they are left more open to consider yours.