Often, being right is so wrong. Approaching relationships through the paradigm of right and wrong is often destructive. There is a deeper value we must be focused on, getting along.
Sometimes, and I would even add, often, being right is so wrong.
Today I want to talk to you about the dangerous world of right and wrong. And you may think, well, that’s dangerous? Isn’t that a model we should all be following, we should all be focused on what’s right and what’s wrong? Well, there’s no question that we need to continuously learn and focus on what is right and what is wrong in the world; however, when it comes to relationships, it is not productive for us to always show how we are right or show how the person is wrong, even when, in fact, that is the truth.
Because sometimes, and I would even add often, being right is so wrong. And that’s why approaching relationships through the paradigm of right and wrong is actually dangerous or, maybe a better word would be, destructive. Because when we create a paradigm of right and wrong as our way of interacting with other people, what we end up doing is cornering ourselves and, worse off, cornering the other person and we are automatically at odds with the other. The moment I’m insisting that I am right, I am essentially saying that you are wrong and now we are at odds with each other and we remove the peace. The moment I say you are wrong, that is wrong, I am saying there’s a problem with you and I am right and that puts us at odds. And this is the reason why being right can often be unholy, the wrong thing to do. So being right can be very very wrong.
And sometimes it is actually holier to be wrong. What I mean by that is not to be truly wrong but to let it seem as if you are not necessarily holding the truth. And I’ll explain that a little bit more.
We are born to believe that if we are right, we are good; if we’re not right, it’s not good. And that is simply untrue when it comes to relationships. There’s a deeper value over being right and the deeper value over being right is the value of peace. The value of people being able to come together. The value of people getting along. That is actually a deeper value than being right. The reason why we don’t have as much peace and harmony and people working together as we should is because it is so difficult. It’s much easier for me to argue my case as to why I’m right and you’re wrong. It’s much harder for me to let go of being right. And, of course, this all boils right down to the essential human challenge and that is our ego. Myself, my self-value. And that if I ‑‑ I’m scared that ‑‑ of being wrong, oh, my goodness, I can’t be wrong. And, actually, someone who is humble has no problem lending themselves to not being 100 percent right for the sake of making things work a lot better.
People who always argue about how right they are, always remain at odds. And you and I know many people like that. Everything is about, well, you don’t know what you’re talking about because. Or, you don’t know how to do this. Well, this is the right way to do this. And we need to soften our approach. We don’t say you’re wrong or this is right.
What can we say in its place? Well, here is what we can say. We can say, well, there’s another way we can look at this. I hear what you’re saying but there’s another way we can look at this. And you show them another way to look at it. And when they hear that, they’re hearing that this is a much better way or the true way, the right way to look at it. But you’re not saying it in those words and, therefore, you’re not cornering them and you’re giving them the space to save face, to come out and come on to your side. Or you can say, that’s one perspective but here is another perspective. And in doing that, again, you’re not insisting that this is the right way, which implies that your way is the wrong way, it’s just saying, there’s another perspective. Again, it’s softening the way we are bringing the rightness or the truth to another person. When we let another person save face while showing them the proper way or a better way, we are actually creating a much more peaceful world. What do we need to be able to do this? We need to be more humble, that I don’t need to be right, where I don’t need the other person to say, oh, you are right. All I want is the other person to come around and they’ll say on their own, oh, that’s what I was trying to say, maybe I was saying that in different words, however, they want to save face. And they’re not going to give us the credit for the fact that they saved face and we’ll be fine with that. If we are humble people, we don’t need to be the hero of every conversation.
And what it also does is it creates safety for the other person to reanalyze regarding something that they may have made a firm statement about. And for them to reanalyze that, they need to have the space to do that. And when we give them the safety to do that by not insisting that they are wrong or that we are right, which then corners them to defend themselves endlessly about something that they may already know in the depths of their heart based on what we shared with them is untrue.
And, actually, the most beautiful thing we can offer people in relationships is safety, the safety to be who they are without us judging them by saying that they are wrong. And the conversation turns from not being a personal one. When I am right or you are wrong, that’s very personal. I’m making a statement about you or I’m making a statement about me. When we move the conversation away from ourselves and we keep it to the idea and not to the people involved, then people feel much safer to have this conversation. And it is highly worth trying this in your next conversation, the next time someone makes a statement to you which you completely disagree with, instead of insisting that they’re wrong or telling them that they don’t know what they’re talking about or making personal statements and personal attacks against them or personal statements about ourselves and what we know to be true, we can just say, well, maybe we can look at this a little bit differently, what do you think about looking at it from this angle? And just see what happens in that conversation. Yes, there are going to be stubborn people who will never ever agree with you because they are stubborn people. But the majority of people will hear you out that way. You will have a much more productive conversation. You will see people coming around with their opinions and you’ll be amazed at how much influence you can have when you don’t use the power and control of right and wrong but you use the influence of suggestion
So take it on, I’d love to hear from you how this works.