I don’t need to be Right

cupcake anatomy

I am not that person.

And thank goodness I’m not!

I am not that person that always NEEDS to be right, that NEEDS to have it her way or else. I derive great joy from being able to say “Oh! I never thought about it like that!”

I think people that always need to be right lose out on life altogether because their obsession with being RIGHT means they will never see anything from a different perspective.

I know I am not always right and I have no problem admitting it when I’m wrong. I have no problem apologizing when I’m wrong. What I can’t understand are the folks that can’t do this one act of humility and kindness. It’s not life threatening, but it can be life altering, and in the best ways.

I once knew someone that always had to be right. She liked to claim “You don’t know me!”, but the truth is that I did know her and I knew after my first “I’m right and you’re wrong” encounter with her that I didn’t like her. I knew that no matter what, you would never be able to have a conversation with her if your opinion or views differed from hers. She would use sarcasm and belittling statements in order to bend you to her will. It was horrifying to be subjected to any conversation where you disagreed with her.   

She would argue to the teeth in order to make sure you knew she was RIGHT. Even worse was the battering ram she employed to drive home her points. The minute you walked away from her without admitting how right she was, she would employ her battering ram of choice and literally beat you into submission if she could.

I was subjected to a text marathon with her. I say marathon, when in reality I dropped out of the race long before she did. Even though I told her I wasn’t going to respond to any more of her texts because I didn’t care, she continued texting. And texting. And texting. The irony was that she would end each text saying she didn’t have time for this, or that she had to go back to work. Finally after three more texts she told me that if I needed to have the last word (Ha!) that I could have it, but she wasn’t interested in continuing the conversation. I let her have the last word though…telling me that I could have the last word.

She is a human being stuck in her own mind and that is the most secure prison anyone could ever be incarcerated in. Her need to be right and to appear superior, said more about her than anything she wrote in her texts.

This need to be right and to make me say she was right, told me that she knew she was wrong.

Why is being RIGHT so important to some people? Why is it so important that they would shatter the delicacy of friendship in order to maintain their RIGHT status? What kind of person needs to be RIGHT all the time?

I found this outstanding article that answered these pressing questions for me. It’s entitled The “I Need to Be Right” Way of Thinking by Lynne Namka, Ed. D. I encourage you to use the link and read the entire article yourself. I’m also going to copy some highlights from the article that I found enlightening and educational.

People who must defend their rightness are often preoccupied with imagined shortcomings of others and perceived attacks from them. They often feel betrayed by others. They justify their criticizing and blaming others to avoid the insight that they themselves might be in error. They fear losing power and will use anger to keep others from asserting themselves. Life becomes miserable for the family because it is fear and control based.

It’s part of being human to want to have our way. We all have a touch of the need to be right and control others. We all have areas of self-righteousness where we believe that we know better than others. To the extent that this need to be right and resulting defensiveness permeates one’s life, the less connected you will be with others. It’s sad, but true, the more you have of the following characteristics of rigidity of thought, the more anger and disapproval you will get from others:

_____ An insatiable need to be right which masks a deep fear of being wrong
_____ A high need to expect others to see it your way
_____ An inability to say, “I don’t know.” and “I was wrong.”
_____ Feeling threatened when new ideas come from other people
_____ Fear of hearing new information that threatens your beliefs
_____ Fear of letting go; need to be in control of self at all times
_____ Preoccupation with winning approval from others
_____ The need to always be seen as tough, powerful and strong
_____ Pride at always being rational and logical
_____ Uncomfortable with expressing sensitive feelings
_____ Shame and fear of being vulnerable and insecure
_____ Fear and severe discomfort about having bad feelings
_____ Believe that others who disagree with you are wrong and should “just get over it”
_____ Use charm, anger, withdrawal or blaming to settle arguments

This was one of the best sources for figuring out how to deal with people that always need to be right and it was also a great resource for recognizing some of my own faults in this area. Reading through what she had to add about this condition opened my eyes about the woman I used to know and made me realize that while she may always need to be right, I never have to participate in a conversation with her again. I might be wrong about a lot of things, but I’m not wrong about that!

One important question she asks in the article is “Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?” My answer will always fall on the happiness side of that question. Which is probably why I don’t have a need to always be right.

How about you?

Do you always need to be right?

About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
This entry was posted in All kinds of Advice and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to I don’t need to be Right

  1. noone say to me:
    you’re right!
    I do not ever listen to noone
    and go on my way.


  2. Space says:

    I agree, people who never risk anything but criticize the people who do — don’t matter. I’m willing to say “i dont have all the answers” If they are not in Life also getting dirty, I’m not interested in their Rightness

    “It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the person who is in the arena. Whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly … who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly …” Theodore Roosevelt


    • Oh my! I saw your comment and just about fell over! And commenting Teddy too. I love this!

      I know that I have never had all the answers and it has led me down some interesting paths in life trying to discover them. I agree! People that aren’t taking the risks got no business dissing those of us that do.


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