You may know some people who seem like they always have to be right. Regardless of evidence to the contrary, they insist their opinion is correct. They may be close-minded, insecure, or needing attention. Regardless of the reason, people who always have to be right tend to alienate other people. Others might view them as needy or controlling or simply unpleasant to be around.
Do you sometimes find yourself insisting on your own ways or opinions or preferences without hearing what others are saying? Maybe you dismiss other people’s ideas before you hear them out? Do you roll your eyes or break eye contact or let your mind wander when other people are talking to and you don’t agree with them? If so, it may be time to take a step back and think about what you might gain if you let go of the need to be right.
What You’ll Gain From Letting Go Of The Need To Be Right
- When you let go of the need to be right, you open yourself up to learning a lot from others. Think about it – if your own opinions aren’t etched in stone, you will be more willing to hear other people’s ideas. You can learn a lot by listening to what other people have to say and asking questions about their opinions.
- Another benefit of letting go of the need to be right is that you will have less conflict in your life. If you don’t have to always be right or always have things your way or always have people see things your way, you are bound to have less conflict and more peace in your life. Even if it’s an issue that you KNOW you are right about, you can ask yourself whether it really matters if the other person agrees. Probably not! Accept that you both have different opinions and leave it at that.
- When you lose the need to be right, you will also find that you have less anger in your life. If you always feel like you have to convince others that you are right, and if they are resistant to your opinions, that’s likely to cause you to be angry with them. The more people you are trying to convince of your own truths, the more anger you build.
And, when you have more anger, you usually have less empathy. Empathy has to do with being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and feel what they are feeling. But how can you do that when you are angry and right about everything? You can’t. Empathy is important in your ability to build bonds with other people. Don’t jeopardize that by insisting on your own ways.
How To Let Go Of The Need To Be Right
If you’re ready to let go of your need to be right, there are a few things to keep in mind and a few simple exercises you might try.
Where to start
- Know who you are – What’s special about you, and what contribution do you make to the people around you? When you know the true you and your value to others, you’re less likely to feel the need to assert your every opinion on them. Everyone brings something to the table. Know what you bring, know your strengths and what people rely on your for, and then let go of everything else.
- Remember that being wrong isn’t always a bad thing. You may be wrong about something, but you learn from your mistakes. And you may be right about something and have a hard time convincing someone of your opinion, but remember that he will also learn from his error, so there is no need for you to prove you are right.
- Instead of needing to be right, try embracing the idea that everyone is different. People have different experiences, knowledge, and opinions. Nobody is more right or wrong than someone else. Know your truth and allow others to know theirs.
Try these steps
- When someone is talking, really listen. What are they saying, and why is it important to them? Pay attention with both your mind and your body language. Be engaged, and don’t formulate a response until you’ve heard them out. This is a great exercise that really gets you in the mindset of letting go of being right, and you can use it all day every day to get a lot of good practice! Just listen.
- When you do disagree with someone, before stating your objection, verbalize your understanding of the other person’s point of view. Start with, “I think what you’re saying is…” and then listen to her response. That will give you clarification on her opinion, and it also helps her feel like she is heard.
- Try paying closer attention to your feelings. Is it really that gratifying to convince someone you’re right, or are you actually more at peace when you let go of that need and consider that they might be right too? Pay attention to your feelings in both scenarios and see which one leaves you feeling more calm.
- Practice letting go of your need to be right. Do this by practicing keeping your truth to yourself and resisting the urge to tell people what you think or know. Pay attention to the degree with which conflict and negativity in your life decrease, and then consider if that isn’t really the better way to live!
Remember that when you learn to let go of things that really don’t matter, you continue to move in the direction of contentment. And more contentment will always lead you closer to inner peace.
What would our world be like if we ceased to worry about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, or ‘good’ and ‘evil’, and simply acted so as to maximize well being, our own and that of others? Would we lose anything important? ~ Sam Harris
Think about that quote, and then start living it!