You’re Right, but You Are Wrong

angryI have a right to be right and a right to demand my right to be right. Except, I’m wrong. And, so are you.

The problem with being right and demanding the right to be right is it leads to arrogance, or maybe that is where it stems from. Either way, arrogance is destructive in relationships.

Many times, the conflict between two people or parties is not really about who is right or wrong, it is about one trying to win out over the other. It’s about power. It’s about control.

I’m not sure how we come to the conclusion that in order to increase me, I must decrease you. This idea that for me to be right, you must be wrong and I must make that clear. I know it stems from selfishness, but it is amazing to me how easily we convince ourselves that this is true. We do this in spite of the evidence that it is not. We don’t appreciate it when it is done to us. We loose respect for those who do it. We complain about them and point out their arrogance and use terms like “jerk”, “bully”, and… well… um… more colorful words.

To those around the one treating others in this way, they are actually diminished and we all know it, yet somehow, we think that when we do it, we will be exalted. It’s crazy. Even when we are right, when we demand the right to be right and point it out, we are wrong.

I have seen this in my own life and in couples that I have walked through conflict and relational issues. Often it comes down to one or both insisting they are right and the other is wrong and if the other would just realize and admit it, then all would be good. We do this with our spouses, our kids, our coworkers, and on and on.

Instead, we should see that even though we may be right, the other person has value and significance and should be treated with respect. If we validate them in the conflict and deal with the idea and issue instead of making it personal and trying to declare a winner and loser, we will find a lot less stress and pain in our conflicts.

Respectfully listening, seeing their point of view, finding where we may have fallen short, and giving respect and courtesy, go a long way toward healthy resolution.

Our goal should never be to one up the other or “win” the conflict. Instead, our goal should be growth in the relationship, healthy resolve, and a path forward with dignity and value for both.

Again, there may not be agreement and one side may be right, but whenever we demand the right to be right, we are wrong.