The Need to be Right
Why do we choose being right over experiencing joy? Have you ever heard of the saying, “If you must always be right, you’ll most always be wrong?” What does that mean? Isn’t that just some silly saying someone said, at some point, to win an argument? As a recovering right fighter, I used to think so. As I discovered and share with you, if I want to experience lasting joy, it is more important to be relational than it is to be right.
On the road to my own recovery, I discovered something very important. What I discovered is that my “facts” were actually opinions that I stated as facts. The inherent problem with this is that frequently, my significant other has her own opinions and to invalidate those does not endear me to her. Even though in my own head I believed, I was right, my wife never had that “ah-ha” moment when she changed her mind, and said, “No, you are right… -I’m wrong.”
In marriage counseling, I see this play out time after time. Often couples come into counseling with the goal of communicating better. Inevitably, one of them will say, “We just don’t know how to communicate.” The truth is they do know how to communicate; they are just delivering the wrong messages. The message each partner is delivering is, “I’m right, you’re wrong.” And they wonder why they struggle to communicate effectively.
I worked with one couple who were at odds over the husband “never” being home, while the wife was “always” with the kids, at home, and frustrated with the lack of emotional bond between the two of them. The husband argued that he worked long hours and provided for the family. His life was no bowl of cherries! The wife, on the other hand, argued that her life was cleaning, taking care of the kids, and doing a never-ending pile of laundry. A thankless job that left her feeling used and unappreciated. If he loved her, he would help more; he would take some of the household responsibilities on himself. If she respected him, however, she would see how hard he worked and appreciate all he provided for her and their family.
A problem this couple had was that they were so concerned with being right that they could only focus on the problems. They were stuck because they forgot to be relational and focused on defending their position. In couples’ counseling, at Rocky Mountain Neurotherapy and Counseling, I work with couples to help them agree on what the problems are and then focus on not being right, but being relational. By being relational, the focus shifts from the issues to the solutions. When I am not concerned with being right, I allow myself to be open to compromise. Like magic, when we learn how to compromise and meet each other’s needs we experience joy in our relationship.
If dropping anchor in being right is working for you and your significant other, God bless you both. If it is not working; however, and you are ready to try something different, I would love to assist you and your partner in figuring it out. Rocky Mountain Neurotherapy and Counseling has a conveniently located office right here in Loveland, CO. I am also certified in “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage”; couples counseling does not have to be painful!
Rocky Mountain Neurotherapy & Counseling is located in Loveland, Colorado. We specialize in counseling, LENS treatments & helping you feel like yourself again. We hope you enjoyed our blog post above and welcome you to reach out with any questions or to see how we can help you.