Aren’t you sick of being right all the time? Well, I know I am. It’s quite a burden to carry. I am only joking – partly, at least. 
In my desire to enhance my sense of self-esteem, I like to be right most of the time. Some of us cannot bear being wrong even a fraction of the time. Don’t forget, we are social creatures and have a need to get on in our ‘tribe’, or at least be accepted with some respect and credibility. We place a high value on being right. Why else would we get so much gleeful reward from saying the simple words, “I told you so!”? 
Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s we were introduced to the concept of ‘spin doctors’ – public relations professional who could manipulate political opinion by shaping ‘facts’ appropriately to their message. This started out as being ‘economical with the truth’, then turned into ‘alternate facts’ or put another way, lies. 
The need to be right though, is context driven, and can depend on social hierarchy and relationships. You may swear black is white to be proven right against the views of an older sibling but defer to the opinion of a younger one, because you feel you can cut them some slack. 
The point is, it’s a complex inner drive, and it is emotional rather than rational most of the time. If you don’t agree, think of some of the arguments you have had, say at a dinner party, when a contentious issue comes up, and you end up banging your fist on the table to emphasise that your view can be the only correct one. You may even disengage from those who hold different opinions. This can limit friendships and even break them. But who says you’re the right one in this subjective world? 
Think also of the popular phrase, “I went with my gut”. If you did act on that as a data point, you probably thought you were right but couldn’t prove it rationally, which meant you were left with your emotions to decide. 
If we are acting on those emotions, it’s rarely a stable and reliable way to be. You may make wrong decisions with your gut feelings or wake up feeling guilty about behaving like a total bore at last night’s dinner. 
I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t be free and acknowledge emotions rather than bottling them up. I am talking about depending upon them to prove our rightness. This is a mind trap we fall into. We get entrenched in our own model of the world and won’t come out. We put shields up and use emotion to bat away other potential facts. Worse perhaps, we can come off looking angry, self-righteous, arrogant, and intransigent. 
Also, if we do know-it-all, and live up to the name that we are surely earning, then how can we ever learn anything? How can we be open to new perspectives, and be the bigger person by allowing someone else the joy of occasionally being right? 
What is the way out of this trap? Awareness, as ever, is the key. Recognizing that this need is emotional and often a visceral feeling. Identifying it and stepping back from it is an essential first step. 
Listen to alternatives, and THEN decide you’re right. Only joking. Legendary football manager Brian Clough summed it up admirably when asked what happened if he got into a disagreement with one of his players. 
“Well,” he said thoughtfully, “we sit down and have a discussion for ten minutes or so, and then conclude that I was right.” 
I suspect that even he was tongue in cheek about that one. How boring the world is when we think we are always in the right. Use your head, let go a little, and be prepared to learn. 

Hypnotherapist & Certified Mindfulness Instructor Worcestershire 

Share this post:

Leave a comment: 

Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings