≡ Menu

Relationship Tips. #4: Letting Go of the Need to Be Right

If you haveRelationship tips 4 letting go of the need to be right ever been in any kind of relationship, you know that there is often a power struggle over the need to be right…and it is a need for a lot of people…and they will fight until they can prove to their partner that their way is indeed the only way…the right way…

It might be you or it might be someone you are in a relationship with…a partner, a friend, a work colleague, a family member. That person (or you) feels a need to be right all the time, to correct behaviors or language patterns…they might even feel that they need to make you wrong…and that is destructive to most relationships because there needs to be a give and take…a listening and hearing of opinions.

The Right Way Doesn’t Exist 

“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

This need to be right quote from Friedrich Nietzsche says so much.

That’s true, isn’t it? There are only opinions as to what is right and what is wrong. It is a point of view. It is a perspective. The need to be right is different than just being right. It is needing to be right…no matter what the cost…

How does this Need to be Right Happen?

When we are children, we are chastised for making mistakes. As a result, we want to be right. We have a need to be right. Especially when we are in relationships…because if we are not right…the only option is to be wrong…

We don’t want to be wrong. No one wants to be wrong…and that is why there is so much emotion and drama for couples and other types of relationships. There is a struggle, a tug of war between people about who is right.

Think back to when you were a child and you made a mistake…you were wrong…there was probably shame and guilt attached to that mistake. No one wants those feelings. Shame is an emotion that is so terrible…

Fear also lies beneath…the fear of making mistakes. It will be hard to admit when a mistake has been made or a boundary has been crossed in any of your relationships, whether they are in areas of your career, friendships, partnerships, etc.

Signs of Expressing the Need to be Right

  • Criticism…do you have someone in your life…perhaps a friend or a family member…and they are critical of everything that you do? They walk into your house and the first thing that they say is something negative about you, your house, or the way you have arrange the furniture or landscaping? Perhaps they start to clean your house and you just spent 3 hours getting ready for their visit…you know what I mean? This type of behavior might masquerade as their “wanting to help you out through constructive criticism” but it is really the need to be right, isn’t it? They know better than you on how to live your life.
  • Belittling or being condescending of the other person’s opinion. When a person needs to always be right, they will tear apart the other person’s opinion. It might not be obvious…it could be done in a passive aggressive way…but the manner in which it is done, leaves the other person feeling that their opinion has not been respected.
  • Becoming angry when their opinion is challenged or another course of action is proposed.

Eliminating the Need to be Right

So, if you have any aspect of needing to be right in your own behavior, here is what you can do:

  • Be willing to be flexible in your behavior
  • Understand that everyone makes mistakes, no one is immune
  • You are good enough…really…
  • See things from a different perspective
  • Have an open heart
  • And eliminate this phrase from your vocabulary…“I told you so”…ooooh…this one can fill you with glee, can’t it? I have an image in my mind of a person, giggling and rubbing their hands together…a smirk on their face…as they joyfully announce to the world “I told you so”. Don’t do that…really…

And here is the question to ask: “How important is it for me to demand to be right in this situation? Is there any room for seeing my partner’s point of view?” Step out of the emotions that surround you…and listen…you might actually learn something…and if you are willing to give up the need to always be right, your relationships will be more harmonious and filled with love…

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?”  Sherie Venner 




The following two tabs change content below.


I am a Relationship Coach who helps others create happy, healthy, loving relationships…including the relationship they have with themselves…by breaking through those blocks and barriers to success. I use various techniques gathered through training as a Master Practitioner of NLP, timeline, hypnosis and common sense gathered through life experience.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kellee September 12, 2012, 5:19 am

    Oh…this number is a number for me…and my husband. Two stubborn redheads that always want to be right! Thank-you so much for all your wonderful advice.
    Kellee recently posted..Countdown to AutumnMy Profile

    • Sherie September 12, 2012, 9:12 am

      : D Now that is quite the combination! Kellee, I am glad that you found it useful. : D

  • Lisa Birnesser September 7, 2012, 1:49 pm

    This is such a great article, Sherie! No one can be right all the time. But there are those who would challenge that for sure. Blaming and criticism is a true reflection that the person isn’t happy with their own life. I love your point about listening- clearly someone who blames is not listening! Thanks!
    Lisa Birnesser recently posted..Goal Review: How to Hit Your Mark by Year EndMy Profile

    • Sherie September 7, 2012, 3:34 pm

      I absolutely agree, Lisa, no one can be right all the time…and when we can be comfortable with and own our own mistakes, a lot of that blaming behavior goes away! Thanks so much for your comment!

  • Kimberly September 7, 2012, 6:11 am

    I am so glad I stumbled upon your articles. Enjoy each and everyone

    • Sherie September 7, 2012, 10:03 am

      Kimberly, thank you so much!! <3 <3 I really appreciate you reading them and thank you for commenting!

  • Carolyn Hughes September 7, 2012, 2:35 am

    What a valuable lesson in your post Sherie! I agree with Moira about your advice to eliminate ‘I told you so..’ Sometimes it’s kinder to stand back and say nothing (even if it’s obvious that the other person got it wrong). We all make mistakes and I know that when I mess up, the last thing I need is somebody gloating over me!
    Carolyn Hughes recently posted..A Whisper of Hope.My Profile

    • Sherie September 7, 2012, 10:06 am

      “I told you so” can do so much harm…we do all make mistakes…thanks so much for your kind words and insights, Carolyn!

  • Susan Preston September 6, 2012, 4:39 pm

    Love this article, Sherie! The tips on Eliminating the Need to be Right are wonderful. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Susan Preston recently posted..Guest Post: 4 Reasons Why You Need The Right RelationshipsMy Profile

    • Sherie September 6, 2012, 4:56 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Susan, appreciate you! : D

  • Moira Hutchison September 6, 2012, 2:53 pm

    Sherie – I love this article! Letting go of the need to be right is sooo important in healthy relationships regardless of their stature in our lives. It’s important to me not to judge where another person is coming from – because as soon as I move into a judging space – I’m trying to be right!

    I loved what you said about eliminating “I told you so” from your vocabulary – I’m sharing this article!
    Moira Hutchison recently posted..The Power of a Positive AttitudeMy Profile

    • Sherie September 6, 2012, 2:55 pm

      Moira, it is a big part of healthy relationships. Thanks so much for your insights, kind words and for sharing, I really appreciate you doing that!