Believe it or not, you can be both…right and happy. Ask yourself, what is my attachment to being right? What makes it so important that I would sacrifice my relationship for it? If you have “right” what do you really have? You may have white knuckles and sore fingers from digging in and a relationship that is fractured or even broken. Does that make you happy? So, it seems that being right does not really make you happy because of the pain it causes in other areas of your life. Basically, the need to be right is really the need to be in control. Control is an illusion. The only thing we really have control of is our self…our thoughts, attitudes and actions.
When I talk about “happy”, I’m not talking about the jumping-up-and-down kind, but the kind I’ll call contentment. Peaceful, rich, full relationships and acceptance of life experiences that stay “mole hills” and are not made into mountains. Learning to accept rather than to control (or try to control) is a life-changing skill. It is said that the experience is the best teacher…however, I assert that it is the evaluated experience from which we learn. Take a moment to reflect on a situation in which you were accepting about something or someone and how that experience led to a better more effective outcome than being right. Reflect on how the relationship involved in that experience stayed intact and/or grew closer. When you evaluate that experience, how were you able to accept and let go of your need to control? What was the priority in that situation and how can you capitalize on your part in the process next time…and the next time…and the next time?
Someone who can accept being wrong, or let the other person be right, or, be right without having to change the other person’s mind, is the emotionally intelligent and mature person. You can “right” yourself right out of a relationship, a job, a promotion….Insisting on being right (being a controlling person) is also damaging to you. Seldom do you achieve the most profitable outcome and often cause yourself regret.
We want to be right AT each other…we need to be right WITH each other.
Next time you’re in a situation to choose right or happy, make it a win-win situation by accepting the other person’s right to his opinion and making the relationship the priority. Make “we” more important than “me”.