Blog updated: September 19, 2022

How You Can Be Right And Still Be Wrong

by | Oct 11, 2018 | Marriage, Mindset, Personal Growth, Relationships

Photo credit: Simon Rae on Unsplash

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Needing To Be Right Breaks Relationships

Have you ever seen a person coming toward you that you just didn’t want to talk to and so you crossed the street so you could avoid talking to them?

Let’s be honest… I think we’ve all done that before. Especially if it’s a person who likes to be right all the time.

It could be Uncle Bob or Aunt Sally… Or our neighbour across the street… or our co-worker two offices down.

Regardless of who it is, we walk away from the conversation feeling frustrated and small because they’re always right.

The implication with needing to be right is that it means the other person is wrong and that doesn’t feel very nice.

4 Limitations Of Needing To Be Right

When someone feels the need to be right, it puts them into 4 little boxes:

1. Box of Fear

When someone feels like they’re not enough or that they’re just too much, they become inflexible, which may come across as defensiveness or being critical. And these attitudes are two of the four horsemen of the apocalypse that John Gottman says will end the relationship if we stay on these horses.

2. Box of Disrespect

This means that a person can’t (or won’t) listen or learn from others. They simply aren’t willing to allow other people to influence them for the good. Worst of all, they can’t accept when someone says “no” to them, so they disregard other people’s boundaries to get what they want.

3. Box of Disconnection

This little box kills relationship. If someone needs to be right all the time, it leaves no room for connection.

I’ve been guilty of this one in my own marriage. One time, Melis and I weren’t seeing eye to eye and he was giving me “the look”. Instead of working with him, it was like I was putting my hand in front of his face and saying “talk to the hand. You deal with this! This is NOT my problem.”

While I didn’t say those words, he still got the message loud and clear through my tone and body language… I was disconnecting from him.

That was so wrong because it disabled him to deal with the challenges he was facing. So, it wasn’t until I decided I would reconnect and started to ask him questions like…

  • What are you feeling?
  • What are you thinking?
  • What do you need from me?

…that he began to trust me again and trust that I had his best interests at heart. And then he began to open up and it started us on a healing journey together.

4. Box of Smallness

If someone won’t allow others to influence them, then they will limit their ability to improve or innovate. The end result is that this person is actually hurting themselves in the end because they’re limiting their own potential… Not to mention that it’s also so much fun to collaborate with others!

3 Benefits To Choosing Connection Over Being Right

Here are 3 benefits to choosing connection over being right:

1) It Makes Us Nicer People

We’re nicer to be around as we’re likely less judgemental. Instead, it helps us to care about the other person. We don’t have to fix everything or everybody. We can simply enjoy the pleasure of other people’s company.

2) It Allows Others To Positively Influence Us

Our mentor, John C. Maxwell, says that we can learn from everybody, anywhere. We need to be able to recognize the gifts, talents, abilities and strengths of others regardless of their position or of who they are.

3) It Enables Us To See The Bigger Picture

Overall, we need care for other people: this means valuing what they’re thinking, feeling, what they care about and what they want. We need to train ourselves to see the potential in the people around us, so we can look for ways to connect with them and serve them.

So the next time you’re tempted to argue for the sake of being right, pause for a moment and remind yourself that the goal is to connect with the other person… not to walk away as the victor.

Struggling with right-fighting in your relationship?

If right-fighting is breaking the connection in your relationship, I can help. Book your free 30-min discovery call now.

About Ann

Ann is on a mission to equip Christian women to communicate confidently and clearly for a closer connection. The good news? Communication is a skill so anyone can learn it even if you’re struggling to communicate right now. Want to communicate more clearly and confidently?…

More About Ann

On a scale of 1-5 (1 = Being right doesn’t matter; 5 = I like to be right all the time), how much do you like to be right in conversations? Share the number in the comments below! We love to hear from you.


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Ann Visser


Life Coach

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