“Being right is highly overrated. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.” ~Unknown
We all know someone who always needs to be right.
She turns everything into an argument worthy of a courtroom, complete with counter arguments and below-the-belt accusations. She finds holes in everything you say, even if you were actually agreeing with her. And in the end she needs the last word, even if means belittling you or ignoring your feelings.
Not everyone acts this righteous all the time, but we’ve likely all tried to win in an argument at least once before.
Maybe it’s the rush of feeling like the more powerful or intelligent person, or perhaps it’s just a stubborn resistance to bending. Whatever the case, we all play to win in conversations on occasion.
The irony here is that winning rarely feels as sweet as the fighter imagines it will. Research shows competitve people take less pleasure in their successes than their less combative counter parts because they’re rarely satisfied with their accomplishments, ever-ready to seek the next win.
Perhaps more importantly, people who need to be right all the time spend more time fighting and winning than listening and understanding. Strong relationships require the latter.
If someone doesn’t see eye-to-eye with you today, instead of fighting to win, communicate to hear and be heard. You can express your thoughts without strong-arming someone into seeing things your way. And you can see from that person’s point of view without abandoning your own ideas.
The other person may not argue as fairly as you, but you can’t control their peace of mind or actions. You can, however, influence your own.
Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt