Do you or your spouse always feel the need to be right? Do either of you need to have the last word during a conflict or get frustrated when the other doesn’t agree? If I’m honest, I have to admit I’m like most people – being wrong isn’t always the easiest to acknowledge. No one likes being wrong. However, being right is terribly overrated- especially when it’s at the expense of a healthy emotional attachment with your partner.
Let’s just throw it out there. The need to be right is a counterfeit way to sooth our insecurities.
A person’s ideas, thoughts, actions, or the totality of who they are have value if a they are seen as right. It is a conscious or subconscious way of placing ourselves above another. It’s counterfeit because it’s a lie to believe being right or wrong is tied to our self-worth.
In the Bible (John chapter 8), there is a wonderful story of grace, redemption, and how being right isn’t always best. While Jesus was teaching, a group of religious leaders brought a woman who was caught in adultery to him. They said, “…this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the law Moses commanded us to stone such a woman. Now what do you say?”
To be right within the law, Jesus could’ve said, “You’re correct. Go right ahead with the stoning.” Instead, he simply tells them that whoever hasn’t messed up to go right ahead and throw the first stone. Unsurprisingly, they all leave without throwing anything. These religious leaders, the Pharisees, had crafted meaning in their life by strictly obeying the religious law of Moses. Operating on what they believed to be right kept them from showing compassion and the deepest connection humans can have with one another – empathy.
A spouse will miss the opportunity for emotional connection with their partner when they are more focused on being right, which dictates the overall satisfaction of the relationship.
So, how does someone let go of the need to be right?
Become a better listener. Being right isn’t as important as knowing when to close your mouth and open your ears.
Become more kind. Consistent kindness is one of the best tools for overcoming any future challenge in a relationship.
Offer more forgiveness. Forgiveness offers a chance for a new beginning.
Most importantly, embrace humility. Humility creates vulnerability and authenticity, whereas, pride is a great builder of superficial relationships.