The Importance of Being Right

I’m sitting here on a snowy Colorado day reflecting on all the times that I’ve been right. In some instances, it served me to be right; in other ways, it’s shifted my entire life into a negative spiral. People love it. We see it on the internet all the time. Is the dress blue or white? Is this spicy chicken sandwich better than that spicy chicken sandwich? People are obsessed with proving their opinion is the right one these days…which doesn’t even make sense. An opinion is neither right or wrong. I like green more than blue. Am I right? No. Green is not better than blue; I simply prefer green over blue.

There are people out there that are spreading the message that it is the individual that cultivates a mindset based in acceptance that develops the highest quality relationships in the world. It is a way to achieve a satisfying level of abundance in your social life. JP Sears talks about this concept of Agreement Mindset vs Acceptance Mindset in one of his recent videos here. He elaborates on this more than I will in this post.

The desire to be right has toppled entire kingdoms. It has turned whole governments upside down. I even see it at a national level in the fraternity of which I’m a part. The entirety of the elected leaders are faced with a dilemma concerning the president. They disagree on some interpretations of the organization’s constitution and by-laws. However, is it more important to be right or to be kind? I wouldn’t lean one way or the other. I’d say that there is a golden mean or happy medium between the two. If you lean too far in the direction of kindness, it can lead to an unhealthy level of selflessness. If you lean too far toward being right, it can lead to an unhealthy level of selfishness. If one side insists on winning by being right, then all sides lose; the entire organization suffers.

I’ve had my own personal struggles with the desire to be right in the past. It’s something that I believe is still in me. Rattling around in my subconscious mind is a demon telling me to argue with the people in my life until they admit they are wrong. Can you imagine the struggle? The family relationships, friendships, romantic relationships, and even relationships that could have been were tattered or destroyed because of my blind desire to be “the right one”. The day I realized that I didn’t have to ALWAYS be right was a day of liberation for me. From that point on, I was able to increase the gravity of my social pull. I have been cultivating relationships with people who are happy to see me every time I come around. No win or lose, no right or wrong, and no unnecessary apologies for past conversations.

The feeling of being right is a confusing thing. Have you ever had a big argument over something that was SO important in the moment but was trivial in hindsight? If you were the person that was correct, it probably made you feel good. However, this feeling is “pseudo-happiness” because it is rooted in self-seeking behavior. I LOVE being right. It used to be my favorite thing about disagreements. However, I also know that it’s not good for me or the people around me. Sort of like smoking cigarettes. I love ’em, but I know that they could kill me and the people close to me. This is the exact reason why I gave it up. I don’t need another “puff” of being right. Taking another drag from that stick of pseudo-happiness could become a cancer in my relationships, and that’s a price I’m no longer willing to pay.

This concept of not having to be right in an argument is sometimes difficult to explain to my friends. You don’t HAVE to be right. This might be a greater shock to those like me, but even if you KNOW that you are right, you don’t have to be right. Yes. It boils down to assessing the choices that you always have. Is this relationship more important to me than my desire to be right? Usually, the answer is: yes, this relationship is a higher priority. If the relationship that you have with another human being is less important than your desire to be right, then I invite you to read some of my other content on this site. You may be putting too much value in how correct can be or have yet to find how powerful it can be to show kindness to the people around you.


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