Our society today seems to have a binary sense of opinions, either it’s right or it’s wrong. In schoolroom classes, most everything is either correct or not correct with high and low grades, and the higher the grades the more successful you should become. Every political debate like abortion, gun control, and health care it seems like you should either agree or disagree with one position or another, there is no middle ground. There is no pause to consider the other side; you choose what you believe and you stick to it. But have you ever thought how damaging this could be?
Do You Need to Be Right or Would You Rather Be Happy?
If you asked most people whether they’d prefer to be right or happy, they’d probably choose to be happy. But so many relationships are disrupted by an argument where both parties insist on being right. When both people feel this way, there is no active listening and understanding and it can damage and even sever relationships. People cannot look past their own opinions for the greater good of the relationship, but that is exactly what needs to happen.
Where Does it Come From?
The feeling of needing to be right stems from a person’s ego. It’s a form of self-approval that strokes the ego and compensates for someone’s insecurity. When people are insecure, they have to work hard to prove to themselves that they are important by insisting that they are always right.
By justifying to themselves they are right, a person feels superior and empowered. They feel elevated over the people that they can prove are wrong. However, when they lie, cheat, or do anything they can to be right, it leaves a bad impressions. People don’t enjoy being around know-it-alls so this need to be right tends to send people away.
An underlying fear of being wrong occurs in these situations. When someone disagrees, the person feels threatened or attacked so they desperately try to keep control by holding their ground.
When people stand their ground no matter what, they become inflexible in their thinking. They stick to their opinions and beliefs no matter what and will not listen to other sides of the story. They can become condescending and belittling and will even become extremely critical of others.
Don’t Be That Person!
Give up your need to be right. It will help your relationships and make you become more open-minded. You will be a more happy, considerate person and a better listener to all involved. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself, it can help you get over your fear of being wrong. Finally, be confident. Know who you are so that when someone disagrees or proves you wrong, it doesn’t destroy your ego. You know who you are and being wrong in one situation cannot deter you from that.
Larry Says It’s “More Important to Be Kind Than to Be Right”
Fun Team Building with Larry Lipman understands the feeling of needing to be right and how to overcome it. He can help your organization understand the importance of active listening and open mindedness. Give him a call at 770-333-3303 today to find out how!