Oh, we all like to be right, don’t we? Even if we keep the smug “I told you so” to ourselves, we like being right. We need relationship help for sure when things deteriorate in your relationship to just wanting to be right.
In a recent Relationship Insights class, this came up when a participant said,
“Why can’t she just see I’m right in the first place and come to depend on that? Why does it take her so long to admit I’m right?”
Wow, what a loaded question! First of all, he firmly believed he was right so there was really no room for discussion. He was just humoring her by even conversing with her. it seemed. Then, he expanded it to suggest that he is always right. And, then, to make it even less helpful, he suggested she does not deserve time to think about things. Big issues here.
If you have a need to be right, you’ve got some work to do! None of us are right all the time. That’s for sure. But, many of us are raised to be perfectionistic, and that requires thinking that we CAN and, perhaps, should be right all the time. For those folks, like myself, who were brought up that good enough was not good enough, we have the opportunity of becoming more realistic about life and a little easier on ourselves. The fellow in my class really needs to be able to make a mistake and not think the world is going to fall down around his ears…permanently.
The relationship help he needs at this time is to be able to listen to his partner’s point of view with an open mind. When your mind is filled with being right, it’s awfully hard to let anything else in. So, a few helpful thoughts:
Take a breath, let it out slowly through the mouth, to bring yourself to the present moment.
Make the time to listen.
Look for commonalities in your thinking rather than differences.
Remember, there are a lot of places along the way between the extremes of right and wrong. I hope your relationship is more important than being right!
Written by Rhoberta Shaler, PhD
Originally appeared on Forrelationship.com