"Is it better to be kind or be right?" Concrete examples, please

What does this saying actually mean. Let’s have some real life (places and names changed to protect the innocent) in Taiwan.
Being “right” in this discussion doesn’t include blindly following restrictive rules that are generally ignored and really on the books to harass people you don’t like. ie: reporting the otherwise totally legal teacher for teaching at a kindergarten or reporting the contractor who doesn’t put that mandatory balcony on the back of a house. I in those cases, the right and kind thing to do is ignore the law because it’s hurting no one, and not affecting your life at at all.

It really depends. I’ll turn a blind eye if you aren’t pissing me off.

But I squeal when angered. I’m sure my last boss can testify to that.

It’s a…biting-hand-that-feeds-you thing.

I always to it as the inner dialogue/reminder to have when you want to keep the peace.

Not bother you personally keep your mouth shut!
Sqeal and be hurt.

Great …
Now, how about when you are an active participant in the situation and you must make a choice between being right or being kind…
The right (morally) is the kind decision.
I’m starting to believe this is a meaningless phrase.

You mean relating to Trump?

Wait, this is a saying? “Is it better to be kind or be right?” New one to me, I think.

1 Like

Surely it is. It has to be situation dependant.

Like Trump, he’s neither kind or right!



I think it refers to the scenario where you are having a disagreement with someone over some issue of fact, and you can either tell them a white lie to extricate yourself from the situation, or press the point until they burst into tears or get angry and shank you.

Concrete example would be any disagreement with the wife, ever.


Then it’s just better to be right.

1 Like

“In a family argument, if it turns out you are right, apologize at once” Robert A. Heinlein.

Read this as a teen, wish I had taken the advice to heart more often!

1 Like

It’s better to be both simultaneously. I’ve yet to encounter a situation that fully compromises one for the other. Although it’s subjective i guess, I’d tend towards right

If you are talking about tolerance, then as long as no one is being harmed by anothers actions, then let it be. Example, some young lady walked off on her own on a train platform for a smoke. Smoking is illegal in train stations here. She was considerate enough to go away from everyone else so even the staff let it be.


True. Because if you’re wrong, she’ll never let you forget it.

“Do you remember 16 years ago when you insisted that X, and it turns out that actually Y?”


Being kind and factually correct ‘right’, or perhaps morally considerate ‘right’, are not mutually exclusive things at all.

The real meaning behind this phrase (which makes them mutually exclusive) is, is it better to address something indirectly so as to prevent someone potentially being offended, or to be direct?

I like addressing things directly. Because things are gotta get to the same place eventually anyway, why waste time? Pussyfooting around only delays the inevitable and limits the potential of progress.

In my experience, if someone can’t deal with truthtelling (either factual or you just being honest with your opinions), I’m not down with them anyway. I like recognition and acceptance of reality and don’t want my life to exist in some bubble of pretense.

Of course this ideal will get compromised if someone relies on avoidance of conflict to keep a job or something. But I believe it’s in everyone’s self interests to be direct when you remove ego from the equation.

1 Like

I was going to bring this discussion to the slippery slope topic, but I think it’s better to leave it as it is…

1 Like

How does this go down in reality in Taiwan ?

Ha, the inevitable topic.

I’ve always been direct in Taiwan. Never hurt (ok maybe pained) me at work, personally. Or elsewhere, but that’s the big one for most.

I think I try to be direct, but not close to antagonistic. I’ve always been pretty careful with my words and no doubt became even more selective after arriving here. Try to say what I think, why I think it, and for something like work, explain how the opinion/idea could make things better for the company.

Also maybe say, hey I’m not the boss, it’s just an idea, you can do what you like with it. :man_shrugging: Of course at no point will I come near implying their own ideas are bad, or my idea is better than their own. Nothing wrong with some compliments as well for their good choices in the same conversation!

So even if some boss is only thinking about the bottom line, what are they really gonna ring you up for? Improving things and trying to make them more money? You called them a genius boss and acknowledged their power to make impactful decisions, basically.

I also always stick to my guns and stand up for myself and principles. Sort of a take it or leave it attitude, in the most polite way.

Has anyone taken my advice? :rofl: Maybe a tiny bit over a long time. And some co-workers will inevitably find a way to try and make you look bad/resent you, no matter how considerate or inoffensive your effort. Because you’re not afraid to say something and they are.

But if you come in from the start showing management what you’re about, I think they look at you, and whiny co-worker, and can usually calculate you’re the better worker. Being too quiet and agreeable is what sets you up for backstabbing from co-workers and bosses trying to milk you.

Even if what I say has zero effect, I know I’ve said my piece and can live with myself knowing I’ve not turned into a pathetic ball of dough. People stop bothering to come at you when they know you’re not gonna tolerate being chipped at as well.

Say your piece in a polite way which also shows you’re trying to be an ally, stand up for yourself, be willing to roll if you run into a total a-hole. Works for jobs and most other things.

1 Like

Brian Jones asks…

This is a fantastic post and I can’t choose what’s the most quotable.
I get the situations and ideas but you present it as a celestial producer.
I’m having trouble visualizing the exact events.
Would you mind playing the role of a script writer and give us some concrete examples and dialogue? You may change the situation to avoid identification.
You’ve had to deal with backstabbing co-workers and kept your head.