Let’s face it, we all enjoy being right, right?! So, what is so wrong with that? The simple answer is nothing is wrong with wanting to be right. The problem comes into play when we get the outcome of being right and we don’t like that outcome. Remember, right is a relative term.
When I am working with a couple, they often come in believing their position is “right.” They want their partner to agree with them. Therefore, they become fixated on their position and focused on the facts, as they see them. They do not try to have any understanding or appreciation about how strongly their partner feels about their position and the facts, as the partner sees them. This leads to a stalemate. Neither wants to “give in” or compromise. If one does “give in,” however, they usually feel angry and hurt. This leads to resentment and frustration that interferes with the emotional connection of the relationship. Yes, you win but at what cost?
Rather than debate who is right or who is wrong, perhaps the question to ask is what do you want out of this interaction. Do you want to maintain a “win-lose” dynamic or do you want to be able to discuss and understand the underlying issues in order to create a “win-win” dynamic? So, the real question is which do you want more: to be right or to be in a happier relationship?
If your answer is to be in a happier relationship, start by asking questions to make sure you really understand what your partner is saying. Sometimes, you find you both want the same thing but you are approaching it in different ways. I discussed tips for this on my recent blog post, “Do I Hear You Now” – click here to read more. Or you may agree to disagree but have a renewed respect for the other person’s perspective. Or you may find that you learn something you had not known before and it helps you rethink your position.
Regardless of the outcome, both of you will leave the conversation feeling respected and more positive towards one another. Your relationship will be stronger for it!