The Need to Be Right


IMG_0701There’s a voice inside my head that takes pleasure in insisting that I have to be right.  This voice will do anything to convince others, especially my partner, that I’ve got the corner on how things are.  This unsavory attitude leads to a dangerous place in a relationship — if I’m right and my husband has a different view of things, then obviously, he is wrong.  There have been times when it seemed so important for me to be right, that I would destroy our harmony, our affection, and our day, by trying to cram my right position down his throat.

This is certainly a belief worthy of examination.  What is to be gained from being right?  Why is it so important that others think the same as I do?  Ah, and what if I’m wrong?  I’ve certainly had experiences in the past where I insisted I was right only to find out later I had been wrong.

Okay, so on occasion there are consequences of going with my spouse’s opinion over mine.  A few years ago my spouse and I were on vacation in a city where various modes of public  transportation were available.  Our destination was an island near to the coastal town we were visiting.  Obviously, we needed to cross a body of water to get to the island.  The public transportation system was confusing to us, as one ticket covered train tickets and bus tickets, as well as sea bus tickets.  We bought our tickets and started down the walk in the direction a sign indicated for our destination.  The first mode of transportation we encountered was a train.  My husband insisted we needed to get on it. I voiced my opinion that we needed to find a sea bus; however, it seemed important to him that we get on the train right then.  So, I went along with him.  After we boarded the train, my husband had second thoughts; however, the doors had closed and the train moved forward — but only a few yards until it stopped, backed up, and its doors reopened.  We jumped off and continued on the walk, where we soon found the sea bus, which delivered us to our destination.

The only thing I can possibly gain from being right is a temporary feeling of superiority.  Is this a desirable trade-off for the tension, hurt feelings, and anger that can ensue from insisting on being right?  We were lucky that time, but even if we had ended up somewhere different from our destination, was it worth fighting over?  Not to me.  If we had ended up somewhere else, we could have laughed and found transportation back to where we started.  Then we could have added the whole experience to our growing list of adventures to be laughed over in the future.

Would I rather be right or would I rather be happy? 




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