3 Steps to simplify your life:
Step 1: Give up false Self-Identity
Step 2: Give up being perfect
Step 3: Give up being right
“No, no. I trust your judgment. Implicitly. You're just wrong.” ~ Hy Conrad
It feels right to be right, but do you know that being right all the time is actually wrong? No one knows everything at all times, so chances are sometimes you are wrong! There is an even more annoying situation: you know that you are absolutely right, but people want to argue with you just to prove that you are wrong. How do you deal with that?
The first year I arrived in America, I landed in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I remember it was a Sunday afternoon. My partner Roger and I went into a grocery store and did our weekly grocery shopping. On my way out, I noticed that there were two sets of doors. I went towards the door to my left, and Roger screamed at top of his lungs, “Why are you going that way? My car is parked on the right side of the door!” He shook his head with a very disgusted look on his face. The interpretation in my head was “I am so stupid, I can never do it right!” I completely shut down. This was a typical communication pattern I had with Roger.
Wanting to be right was my mission for many years. It felt like it was the only way to survive in the relationship with Roger. Looking back, I know it is the root of my perfectionism. I had to be perfect, or I would be attacked by him. Throughout the 11 years of our relationship, I was constantly engaged in a competition with him to be right. It was very exhausting and eventually led to my suicidal thoughts.
Over the years, I have worked on giving up being right. Giving up being right also means giving up judgment.
“Judgments prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.” ~ Wayne Dyer
Practicing “No judgment” means sticking to the facts. For example, driving on a highway, if someone abruptly pulls in front of my car, my instinct might be to yell “What a stupid a-hole! He shouldn’t be driving like this!” Sticking to the facts would be: “This man pulled his car in front of mine abruptly, and I got scared.” Stop right here. Do not run the mental movie in your head.
Negativity breeds negativity. The more judgmental you are; the more negative you become. Giving up being right does not mean that you are wrong nor becoming a door mat. It means you are able to see the big picture and understand that there are two sides to every story. You can always learn to see the positive side.
Giving up being right opens up a world of peace. You will notice things that used to bother you now roll off your back effortlessly. People around you are still being rude and judgmental, but your choice of giving up being right somehow eliminates the negative energy. It brings you more loving kindness and a deeper sense of understanding towards humanity.
Next time someone is challenging your beliefs, use that opportunity to practice giving up being right:
Step 1: Notice yourself feeling the need to defend yourself. Drop it.
Step 2: Focus on how you feel emotionally. Stay in your heart and feel your feelings without judgment.
Step 3: Use this format to communicate: “When you behave this way, I feel… (Use feeling words: anger, sad, hurt, lonely, and so on). Take it from your head to your heart. The power of using feeling words is that any human being on this planet can relate to you.
It’s ok to have disagreements with someone you care about. You can still love this person, but you don’t have to pay the price of feeling like a loser if someone disagrees with you.
Ask yourself this question: At the end of day, what matters to you the most? Winning the argument? Proving to people how smart you are? For me, it is having inner peace and knowing that I have done my best to love, forgive and create the life I want.
“Being right” is the job description for a drama queen. It is guaranteed to provide you with a chaotic life. Life is so much simpler if you give up being right. Once you have made this conscious decision, the rest will fall into place!
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ~ Wayne Dyer
Enjoying this blog? Click here to get tools delivered to your inbox.
Wen Chi Chien, M.A. LPC