How many times have you continued an argument or stayed angry at someone because you believed you were right? I think most of us do this a lot of the time. Think about it. Even if someone cuts you off in traffic, you get irritated because it just isn’t right. They were not supposed to do that. Or that was not supposed to happen. I can think of at least a thousand times that thought has crossed my mind. But what does being right get us? It gets us the sick satisfaction that someone else is wrong. So what? Does that lead us to happiness, peace, and joy? Not for me it doesn’t.
Needing to be right is the ego’s way of separating us from other people. It makes us special. Being special is not necessarily a good thing. When we are special, we are not connected to others. When we are right, we are better than that other person. It puts us above that person. When we are above that person, we can not be fully connected. But most of us like feeling better than because it feeds our ego and masks our true feelings of not being good enough and being less than.
Another thing being right give us is the “wonderful” sense of being a victim and being victimized. I say “wonderful” because most of us relish the feeling of being a victim if we admit it or not. Being the victim allows us to blame others for our unhappiness. It allows us zero responsibility and accountability for our feeling and actions.
I am writing this post because this is something I have found challenging over the past few years, ever since I became aware of how being right creates distress and unhappiness in my life. I see this need to be right all around in me with my family members, friends, and co-workers. It creates so much stress, anger and sadness. Yet, when I point it out to people, they have a hard time accepting it. I guess because then I would be right and they would be wrong. That’s funny, isn’t it? By admitting we are creating our own misery by our need to be right, we are no longer right. The pull to be right is so great that it supersedes being happy and at peace.
My husband and I have this thing we do when we are in the midst of an argument. One of us will usually be able to see what is happening and say to the other “Do you want to be right or do you want to be connected?” I’ll be honest. There are many times when I have said, “I want to be right.” But after a few minutes, I realize what I am choosing and invariably, I choose to let it go and be connected to the man I love. Sometimes I don’t want to let it go because then he is right and I am wrong. But all of that is just made-up anyway. No one is ever right. It is all interpretation.
So I offer you this…the next time you find yourself fighting to be right be it with your spouse, children, friends, co-workers or the “jerk” who cut you off in traffic, say to yourself, do I want to be right or do I want to feel love, peace, connection and happiness? If you are like me (and I believe you are), then I expect you will choose connection over the sick satisfaction of being right.