Every relationship suffers from parties choosing to be right. The problem with being right is that we become nearly impenetrable. When you’re right, you don’t need anyone, any new ideas, any curiosity…When we need to be right, we’re always making someone else wrong. How does it go for you when you feel made wrong?
I’ve been learning this the hard way, noticing every step as I learn, how important it was to be right and the damage it has done in relationships with those closest to me. It’s been as rewarding to clean these up as it was to hold my beliefs over people. Just this time, there’s a win-win at the end of it, not just my domination or upset from feeling dominated by their “no”. Finally, I can appreciate the points of view of the group, of my friends, of those that love me and learn from them.
Being right usually comes from fear. The fear of things not going your way. The fear of living in an unpredictable world. The fear of possibility. In relationships, we hurt each other with our rightness, we demand agreement, because without it, we’re letting go of the safety of our own reality.
Being right has nothing to do with relating to people. It’s a dead end. Just because you don’t agree with someone, you’re going to create yourself as opposing them, just to defend your worldview.
We insist upon being right the most in the relationships where we have experienced the most pain. Just look at sibling or parent relationships. If you’re married, look at how you need to be right with your spouse. If you’re divorced, see how it affected the ending of the relationship. If you look closely, you’ll see your health, sleep, weight and other life issues are negatively affected by prolonged periods of needing to be right. Being right takes vigilance, energy, all out defense to keep it alive and we suffer for it. The more right we need to be, the more alone we find ourselves.
We can either be right or be in relationship. Inside relationship, that static concept of ourselves, our reality, starts to bend, shift, detach, it becomes malleable. It’s difficult to put your finger on, because it is truly an experience of aliveness. Like love, laughter and joy, it’s the uncertainty of what will happen,living in the unknown for just a moment, that fills our soul.
Sure, we may have something valuable for others, but we must surrender to their reality, listen to our partners and truly enroll them if we have a hope of keeping our good advice from becoming the next thing to separate ourselves from each other.
Try it on.