I’m right, you’re wrong… It’s a familiar phrase I’ve heard (and used) frequently in my life but what is this obsession with being right? Why is being right so important to people? It could be to demonstrate a higher knowledge of a subject or to confirm a point of view about someone or something. But that is often all it is; a point of view. Unless the point is relevant to every single person on the planet how can it be right? Here are 3 consequences of always having to be right…
You become angry & argumentative
In your pursuit of being right and proving others to be wrong you may feel the need to argue your point and in so doing, as you experience resistance from the other person you become angry and frustrated. How do these feelings impact on your physical & mental well-being? Anger arouses the nervous system, increasing the heart rate, blood pressure, blood flow to muscles, blood sugar level and sweating. It also sharpens the senses and increases the production of adrenalin, a hormone produced at times of stress. These bodily changes mean you can often react irrationally leading to other negative feelings. Yes anger is a basic human feeling but we do get to choose how and when we express it through self awareness and self control.
You become unhappy
If being right is everything to you there is every chance you will spend a lot of time being unhappy. Why? Other people will disagree with you and challenge you with other thoughts and opinions. Is happiness so important? I believe so! Fact: Happiness makes people more sociable and altruistic, it increases how much they like themselves and others, and it strengthens their immune systems. So moving away from your centre of happiness is likely to bring more negative thoughts and feelings about others and potentially about yourself; why won’t people listen to me? Why won’t people engage with me? What have I said/done wrong? Who does ‘x’ think they are? Why can’t they see it my way?
Your network diminishes
It makes sense that if people feel uncomfortable around you they will do their best to avoid you. If your constant need to be right is so powerful, so consistent people do not feel they can have enjoyable conversations with you they will simply stop seeking opportunities to be around you. And the impact of that can make you feel worse. You are likely to feel lonely, have fewer people to turn to in times of need and potentially become resentful of people in general; more negative feelings.
It’s absolutely okay to have opinions but remember that more often than not, that is what they are, opinions based on your experiences. If they are based on your experiences and your way of thinking why should everyone else agree? We all have different life experiences and therefore different points of view. So instead of having to be right consider:
Being open to others points of view: this can give you a richer point of reference when you are looking for solutions or want to make decisions. Another persons experience might provide useful insights that expand your possibilities.
Being empathetic: If you want people to listen to you and consider your point of view, be prepared to do the same. This provides a win-win where both parties can learn from each other.
Being able & willing to agree to disagree: Its okay not to see things the same way! It is not necessary to argue with people to get them to see things your way. Sometimes we are just so set in our ways, our thinking, that no other point of view makes sense. Accept it.
Always having to be right can be wrong if it means constantly arguing, being unhappy and losing relationships; there is another way!