If you have 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
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