In every personal argument, you want to prove you are right.
Even in those cases, when deep down you know you are wrong.
But you ignore that feeling and keep pushing.
If you’re lucky, you will have your way. But if you’re not, then the argument will keep escalating until you say something you can’t take back.
The good relationship you both had will end, and you might never be able to repair it.
This kind of thing happened to me a lot in the past.
I was arrogant and inconsiderate of those close to me. The need to be right and tell them how it really is was very strong, almost overwhelming at times. It ruined a lot of friendships in my life.
Since starting my meditation practice, I became aware of this pattern and learned to avoid it. Now I can talk to someone without trying to impose my opinion on them.
When the need to be right returns, I observe it and let it go. Being aware of it has turned into a spiritual practice.
In this article, I would like to share how you can learn to do the same and change the way you interact with people.
Does It Mean You Have to Agree with Everyone?
So let’s clear some things first. It’s completely fine to have views and opinions. What’s important here is to be aware of your state of consciousness when talking about them.
So try to remember how you feel when you lose an argument.
You feel diminished in your sense of self. In other words, your ego is hurt.
This pain creates a lot of food for negative thoughts that you play over and over in your head.
You refuse to admit you were wrong and feel angrier than before.
It contributes to a sense of division and separateness between you and the “others.”
By giving in to this pattern, you start to divide people into “right” and “wrong.” While being in this mode, you’re one step away from labeling people into groups and categories.
How to Let Go of the Need to Be Right
When you feel like you’re going to be sucked into a needless and petty argument, remember about these three questions based on objectivity, compassion, and awareness.
1. The first step is to ask yourself, “Do I know everything?” or “Do I have enough information?”
Even if you think you’re an expert in something, there still might be things you don’t know.
Questioning your knowledge or objectivity is not an easy thing to do. Still, it’s a sobering and humbling habit once you adopt it.
When you think about it, none of us can ever know everything about anything. In the end, it all comes down to personal opinions and points of view.
2. The second question is, “Do I know this person well enough? Or “Do I know why they are acting like this right now?
We can’t truly know the driving force behind someone else’s words or actions. We don’t know about their situation or the experiences they had.
Something must have happened to them to take this stand. You might not see it, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not there.
So try to put yourself in another person’s shoes. For a moment, try to imagine why they would say or think that way. There is always a reason.
3. The third question to ask is, “Do I know why I’m acting like this right now?”
When you are in the middle of the argument, turn your attention to the emotion you feel at that moment.
You might discover that you are angry, frustrated, impatient. Notice how much hostility and negative energy you’re producing at that very moment.
After you’ve noticed the emotion, stay with it for a while. Do not resist. Soon, it will become clear it’s just a feeling, it’s not you.
You’ll notice a tiny space between your awareness and negative emotion. At that moment, you will be able to slow down and realize that this argument doesn’t matter that much.
If you repeat this process every time you find yourself in conflict situations, it will become your spiritual practice. You’ll have so much more control over your need to be right. And you’ll notice how other peoples’ behavior will also start to change around you.