One of the messages of Patti Digh’s keynote talk at the TypeA Parent Conference in June was letting go of the need to be right. She told a personal story of how she was upset about something and her acupuncturist said to her:
What if you gave up the need to be right?
This message really stuck with me and I’ve been trying to notice how needing to be right impacts my life.
Judgment I strive to be nonjudgmental of other people, but needing to be right undermines that and results in judgment. Judgment separates us from others and makes us feel either better or worse about ourselves. I’m not perfect so the judgment creeps into my thoughts. However, it is much more productive to let go of the need to be right and share thoughts, opinions, and beliefs in an open forum without judging. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but worth the effort!
Disagreements At home, at work, and at play, there are conversations where I feel I am right and sometimes feeling right can lead to disagreements. As a parent there are things I want to teach my daughter about appropriate behavior, but there are other times where I don’t need to be right. Such as wanting her to wear a certain outfit or pushing her to do something she isn’t ready to do. I could avoid needless battles by not trying to control all her actions.
Dragging Out Conversations in my Head Maybe this just happens to me, but sometimes a negative encounter can replay in my head all day and really distract me from the present. Earlier today I felt someone was rude and condescending towards me (judgment alert) and instead of just letting it go I’ve replayed it in my head wondering:
Who do they think they are?
It isn’t ok to treat people like that.
Why do they think they are better than me?
Now, I am considering how much more productive my mind could be if I wasn’t spending all this time replaying this and just give up my need to be right and let that person be where they want to be. Maybe I misinterpreted their words and they were just having a bad day? Who knows? Not me.
So far, letting go of the need to be right, for me, leads to a more positive mindset, less judgment of others, time to focus on more important things, and fewer disagreements. Sounds good, now to expand this awareness to actually letting go of the being right.
I’d love to hear about what letting of the need to be right could do for you!