December 8, 2011 · Posted in Anger, Communication, Marriage, Mental Health, Parenting, Relationships · Permalink · Comments (0)
The Curse and Seduction of Being Right
Many people struggle with the curse of being right. When people struggle with being right it feels as if you’re constantly in an argument about the “facts.” Sometimes it can feel as if you’re talking with a lawyer instead of a friend or partner. For example, you might ask your partner to lower their voice and they respond with, “My voice isn’t loud. I was just being passionate.” Or perhaps you start to tell a story about work and say, “When I left home at 8 a.m.…” and your partner quickly butts in and corrects you with, “Well, actually you left after 8 a.m.” Whatever the circumstances are, you feel as if you’re in an endless battle. All you want to do is share your thoughts or make a request, yet the other person is busy checking your facts instead of listening to your message.
Needless to say, if you’ve ever been on the other side of this dynamic, it can be incredibly frustrating. If you’re the one constantly “correcting” or arguing the facts, then you can be incredibly frustrating.
Stop correcting and start listening.
Being around someone who is constantly telling others how they’re wrong blocks intimacy and connection. Ironically though, many people get caught in the being right trap…because being right is seductive. After all, people think, isn’t it important to have the right facts? If my partner says he’s angry that I was late for our dinner on Saturday and I know we went out on Friday—shouldn’t I correct him and tell him I was late on Friday, not Saturday? After all, I’m right—I happen to know for a fact that we went out on Friday because Saturday was our son’s soccer game and we ate dinner on the road while driving to his game. Shouldn’t I correct him when I know I’m right?