The Need to be Right

Our world is full of variety. On any given day we can have both positive and negative experiences. Many of these experiences ultimately influence the way we see the world and the opinions we form about how the world works.

Everyone lives in the context of their own perspective. While one person may look at a snow storm and be excited about the possibilities to get out and have fun, another person might be full of fear because they had previously been involved in a driving accident caused by dangerous winter driving conditions.

The events and circumstances are neutral. Our opinions about them are not!

Since we all have our own way of seeing the world, conflict with family, friends, colleagues, etc… is inevitable. There is absolutely no way that you are going to process every event in the same way as the people in your life. When these conflicts and differences of opinion arise, are you prepared to deal with them?

While I do believe that a good debate can often lead to effective solutions of problems, many debates can turn sour and become more toxic than helpful. When this happens, it is important to recognize that the situation will likely end in a stale mate and that you don’t “need” to be right.

The “need to be right” can be harmful to your health. If you spend all of your focus and energy trying desperately to convince someone else that your perspective is the correct one, you are creating a huge amount of unneeded stress in your life. If you go into this mode of “needing to be right”, you should take a step back and ask yourself why. Why do I need to be right? Why do I need this other person to accept my way of thinking so badly?

This ultimately comes down to self esteem. If you believe in your heart that a certain perspective is 100% true, there is absolutely no need to force anyone else to agree with you. The sooner you can embrace this, the sooner you will reduce stress and create more happiness in your life.

Embrace the idea of not “needing to be right”. If someone is taking an aggressive stance with you and trying to force an opinion on you that you do not agree with, let it go! Let them be right in their head and you can confidently carry your own truth in your heart.

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16 Responses to The Need to be Right

  1. Declan February 15, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    I couldn’t agree more with your assessment in this post.

    We all have our own perceptions, judgments and indeed prejudices. We try so hard from a young age to be noticed and heard. All we ever want as children is the attention of others and i suppose we carry that need on into our adult lives.

    I don’t think people realize why they always need to be right,but I’m sure it’s just a deep seated pattern impressed into the subconscious. the problem stems from the fact that most people live their lives on automatic pilot and very rarely question these things.

    Anyway, enjoyed the article Justin, keep up the good work your doing here, chat again soon.

    Declan recently posted..Future Defenders of Domestication…Unite in Conformity

    • Justin Popovic February 15, 2011 at 11:38 am #

      Thanks for the comment Declan. I think you nailed it… most people DO live on this sort of “autopilot” mode and never actually examine their instinctive reactions. When you just take a few moments to interrupt the pattern, you can stop doing these kinds of things that ultimately stress you out!

  2. Sohail February 15, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    Awesome advice! I think half of the world’s problems would literally disappear overnight if they follow your advice.

    • Justin Popovic February 15, 2011 at 11:39 am #

      Hey Sohail.

      Good point. It is too bad that this instinct is so deeply rooted in us as humans.

  3. Chris Eh Young February 15, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    You are correct sir. Always wanting to be right also leads to holding grudges, bitterness, and many other negative thoughts and emotions. Sometimes even when you know you’re right, it’s easiest to just let go. In the greater scheme of things, one wrong answer isn’t the end of the world.

    • Justin Popovic February 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

      Good call Chris. I think that is the problem overall. People take things way too seriously and then the “need” to be right becomes rampant. Letting go is a great solution

  4. Delena Silverfox@Coupon Codes February 15, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    I have a brother in law like this. Poor guy, he’s always so eager to prove he knows what he’s talking about and that he’s right, it causes a lot of problems in the family. Nobody wants him around anymore, and it causes a lot of hurt feelings everywhere.

    The need to be right is not only damaging to yourself, but it’s damaging to those around you. No one enjoys being browbeaten or harangued constantly just because they disagree. Usually, the reasons they disagree are just as sound as ay other argument! Let go of the need to be right, and you let go of a lot of angst.

    Delena Silverfox@Coupon Codes recently posted..Hostgator Coupon Code

  5. Justin Popovic February 15, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Well put Delena. I think some people thrive on that kind of conflict so it will never go away. But I wrote this message for people who want to move beyond that kind of thinking and it sounds like you are right on board along with me 🙂
    Justin Popovic recently posted..The Need to be Right

  6. Kimi@ best phone 2011 February 16, 2011 at 6:32 am #

    Hi Justin,

    I guess that’s human’s natural character, somehow we need to implement correctly in reality.

    I have a great sis in law which exactly having similar character as you described in the post.

    She was even fired from her previous job because of it, and now she ever gets higher position in another company.

    I guess as long as she knows what she is doing and she is confident about what she does, I support her.

    I apply it too with my life.

    Kimi@ best phone 2011 recently posted..Blackberry 9800 Torch – The smartphone of Blackberry review

    • Justin Popovic February 16, 2011 at 10:09 am #

      Hey Kimi.

      Thanks for your comments. Every person will have to apply this in the most appropriate way for their own life. I am glad you found this post of value 🙂

  7. Anne Sales February 18, 2011 at 5:50 am #

    I remember one of my favorite quotes by EG White and it says,
    “The greatest want of the world is the want of men,–men who will not be bought or sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall”
    Anne Sales recently posted..GotoMeeting Promo Code

  8. Barbara March 23, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    I rather be happy than to be right all the time. Althoug, sometimes is so hard to implement it, especially if you speak with teenager daughter. 🙂

    • Brian Kings May 14, 2012 at 3:05 am #

      You are right about that Barbara being happy should be a priority. For teenagers, they should be made to understand some issues first.
      Brian Kings recently posted..A New Music Video On The Way

  9. Leo November 11, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    Hi Justin, I think seeing the bigger picture is one of the greatest step before getting into action and yes, looking for the positive side of it as much as possible. With these, we can be more calm, peaceful and could express our own our purpose. Sometimes we tend to be wrong and must admit it but I kept in mind that once I know what’s right, I’ll stand for it whatever it takes. Thanks for giving your thoughts on this.
    Leo recently posted..The Broshe Group

  10. shirley December 30, 2011 at 7:36 am #

    I love this post Justin, I agree with you. Getting it right is not all its cracked up to be. Awesome post! Warmest Regards Shirley

  11. Diane Chesson June 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    Justin, My Friend, once again you are so right!

    This is a perfect example of “teaching people how to treat you”. Lots of people including Dr. Phil love that expression. I think it doesn’t go far enough. Sure, you can teach people how to treat you by what you say, do, and how you respond in situations. But if you are arrogant or a bully or need to be right and have the last word, you teach people how to treat you TO YOUR FACE. Smart people let you go on and get out of your way. You think you have won — you’re golden! The price you pay is their low estimation of you, your bad reputation because they will talk about you behind your back, and their avoidance of you if possible in the future. Some bullies come to realize that the price is too high. Many others (Donald Trump comes to mind) never do learn.

    There’s an expression I like a lot because it’s so true: “Scratch a bully and you’ll find a coward underneath.” I’ll bet we all know some people like that. Another old expression: “They’re more to be pitied than scorned.” That might be true, but they can still do damage to people who take them seriously.

    I’m with you, Justin, …just know what’s right for you and go your own way.

    Once again, you rock.


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