It’s a funny world we live in. The lives we lead are all so different, so unique. It amazes me how many different versions of ‘the truth’ or ‘right’ there can be from just one situation and several witnesses. It makes me realise that there is no truth, and no right or wrong. Just interpretation.
Although I love this theory, I realise that it’s a double edges sword, since I just loooove to be right. Sometimes I will battle to the death to prove my righteousness, only to be left with a lifeless corpse on my hands. It’s relationship homicide. Unfortunately I often get this after I’ve killed them off, realising that the only thing I’ve really proved is that I’m a big fat jerk.
When I’m fighting to be right and dismissing the other person’s point of view, I’m actually loosing so much more. People will either resist me or sacrifice themselves in order to shut me up (they’re still resisting in silence, by the way). Either way, I come off being a jerk. And in case you haven’t noticed, people dislike jerks. It’s all about making people around you feel good about themselves, right (pardon the pun)? I need to remember this next time I’m shoving my (most likely stupid) opinion down someone else’s throat. I’ve also got to realise that hacking away at someone trying to prove my opinion as the right one (and theirs by default: the wrong one) exposes a massive ‘lack’ in whom I believe myself to be. Ironic really. It’s usually what I’m desperately trying to prove otherwise.
So next time you feel compelled to prove your point at the expense of invalidating another, give some thought to your motives behind it. A hundred percent of the time the underlying motive is an ugly one. I believe it comes down to one of the following (or a combination):
1) When we hold onto strong opinions and beliefs in order to create stability and comfort in a world of uncertainty. The cost to this is that hanging onto certain beliefs means living in a shallow world and limited choice. It consequently blocks any form of growth.
2) Another reason for tenaciously clinging to our opinions is the fear that changing them would lead to the loss of our identity. But we are not our opinions. We are people who hold opinions and can let them go if we choose to. When we learn from others, we don’t lose our identity; we expand, enhance, and enrich it.
3) A third reason for wanting to be ‘right’ is low self-esteem (as I mentioned in my case previously). Some need to show off their ‘superiority’ to compensate for their feelings of inferiority.
You can see the cost to yourself with each of these motives, but I believe the biggest cost comes down to personal relationships being harmed, and a future loss of communication, either by communication being censored or closed completely, due to ones own proven narrow mindedness. So you’re not only a jerk but a loser too. Just kidding! Just remember what you want to create in a relationship, not what you can limit by your need to be right.