There are times to hold your resolve and push your agenda through despite any obstacle, particularly when your level of investment has progressed far along and the net loss for dropping out exceeds the cost of going forward but too often I see others and catch myself holding on to maxims and policies that may be losing their credibility. I read a book by T. Harv Eker years ago with a line that has stayed with me in many contexts – “you can be right or you can be rich.” Inflexibility does not always impact money or business outcomes either, but the cost of being staid or trapped in a particular echo chamber is missed opportunities that at best will amount to reduced influence bandwidth.
The concept of “saving face” in East Asian cultures is still somewhat esoteric to me but it is related to maintaining your pride and remaining on at least the appearance of the moral or reasonableness higher ground. When encountering inflexibility or profound misunderstanding of your views or the views of a third party being discussed, if you cannot present an argument to the offending party that penetrates them in any fashion, the next option is to be so reasonable, so charming, so ethical, so above board, so diplomatic, and so generous that particularly if you’re in a group, you have potentially made the aggressor or inflexible one seem marginal or tyrannical. It sounds devious to do this but if you are certain that you are in a circumstance where someone needs to weigh possibilities outside of their familiar thought patterns – not necessarily to change their mind but to steer them be more sympathetic and considerate to other groups, cultures, or mentalities – this is often the only way, and you’re doing them a favor because if incapable of swapping realities, the offending party (sometimes yourself!) will most likely lose respect and relevance at some point.