I’m right, you’re wrong, that’s the truth….

I’m right, you’re wrong, that’s the truth…. or so I thought….

Recently I came to the realization that I have a serious problem. Somewhere in the course of this life, I came to the conclusion that “I am always right.” If I was the sole survivor on earth after the zombie-apocalypse this would not be a problem, but this is not the case. Unfortunately, I’m faced with the fact that I live on a planet, surrounded with people, who just like me, have come to the conclusion that they are always right too.

Being that we as humans are physiologically programmed to be relational beings, this innate need to be “right” is problematic in our day to day interactions with others. I am unable tell you how many times I have personally driven a wedge between others and myself when the need to be right mysteriously appeared in the midst of a conversation and crushed the person that I was speaking with. I must also mention that I know that I am not the sole sufferer of this malady. I have been a witness to the damage that this demon has brought to families, marriages, friendships and careers. Yet, very few of us are willing to let go of the reins of this beast.  I wish I could tell you that I knew how to tame it, but I can’t. What I can tell you is that I’m tired of dealing with it and I’m searching for a solution.

For a minute I wanted to blame this problem on the manner in which we were educated. From kindergarten to twelfth grade we are programmed to know the right answers because we are told that we will be tested. We are then explained that the result of not knowing the right answer could be detrimental to our progress. Then the need to be right is once again enforced at the university level as graduate and doctoral students are called upon to defend their thesis. Also, as a former pastor, I recognize, in retrospect, that I was taught and I myself taught others to know what they believe and to defend what they believe. While I recognize the importance of faith, I also recognize that at times my arrogance gets in the way of the message of hope that I try to convey.

So what now???

Along with my discovery of this problem, I have also discovered a way to deal with it. It’s called, “Owning up to your problems.” I wish I could say that it was fun and enjoyable. Unfortunately, it’s quite the opposite. In fact it can be painful and humbling. But at the end of it, there is a clearing… there is a possibility to build something new on what is no longer there.  This is the point of life where I find myself right now. It’s an exciting one and I’m looking forward to what this moment and the moment to come brings. At this moment, I have an amazing marriage, I have an amazing family, I have amazing friends, I have an exciting career….. and this is just the beginning….. but for now…… I will savor the moment.

*This was posted on a prior blog of mine, “unleashed lion”, in November 2013.

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13 thoughts on “I’m right, you’re wrong, that’s the truth….

  1. Well done! Oh, how we all suffer… I once heard a previous leader in our company tell me that he didn’t think what I was suggesting was the right way to go about the situation, but he then said, “I could be convinced otherwise.” That has always resonated with me since. Another way I try to quell off the “I’m right” beast is to say, “My knee-jerk reaction is _____, but let me think about it a little more before I give you my opinion.” It is so easy to analyze others, but when you begin truly analyzing yourself then you will see self-freeing growth. Well, that’s my two cents anyway…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Over a decade ago I learned the three most freeing words I ever uttered: “I don’t know”. The relief I experienced was incredible; so much show I’ve said them time and time again as the years have gone by.

    My friend Jim once asked me if I’d rather be happy or be right. I thought it and told him that being right made me happy. It wasn’t an either/or question at the time. Over the years I’ve become quite happy letting others be right and honestly saying I don’t know. It’s funny that I don’t find myself as tense and stressed-out. Besides, I was always told you can’t fight a battle of wits with someone who is only half armed…

    Liked by 1 person

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