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Throw Out the Need to Be Right

Schoolboy tossing paperI recently read a book by Gail Blanke called Throw Out Fifty Things. It’s about clearing clutter, and it was a really good read. An eye-opener.

She talks in the book about not only physical but also mental and emotional clutter, and how to deal with it.

The need to be right is one that struck chord with me. I think the need to be right often gets in the way of my being the person I want to be.

Right or Happy?

When I argue with someone, it’s always because I think I’m right and they’re wrong.

When I see another driver on the road make an illegal, ill-though-out or inconsiderate move, I think “That’s not right!” and I feel annoyed.

Whenever I think I’m right about something, it seems like I must speak up.

But Blanke says I should ask myself, What do I really want? Do I want to be right all the time? Is that why I’m here on this planet?

No. Not even close.

What I REALLY want is to put people first. That’s why I’m here. That’s my “thing.” I feel peaceful, awesome and true to myself when I put people first.

Let Your Values Dictate Your Behavior

Blanke recommends thinking about what you really want, and calling it to mind whenever you experience the need to be right.

So instead of saying, “That’s not right,” which makes me feel a little bit superior and also sour and petty, I remind myself of my true motto: Put People First.

This enables me to decide with a calm heart what I want to do in that moment.

I can choose to speak up, or I can choose to let things rest, even when they’re not quite “right” with me.

I love it!

What do you REALLY WANT instead of being right?

Photo courtesy of www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Tina Gilbertson

Tina Gilbertson is a psychotherapist, speaker and author based in Denver, Colorado.
She specializes in supporting parents of estranged adult children through therapy, consulting and other resources, and offers assertiveness training and executive coaching for organizations.
The author of “Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them” and the “Guide for Parents of Estranged Adult Children,” Tina is often featured in the media as an expert on communication and relationships.
Her blog on PsychologyToday.com is called “Constructive Wallowing.”

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0 Responses to "Throw Out the Need to Be Right"

  • Peggy
    June 15, 2013 - 9:51 am Reply

    I think that this is perfect for me to practice! If it’s not right for me, that’s OK because I don’t know what the person was thinking that might make it right for them. Human beings are all works of God and we’re all in progress, so relax and let it be be. Life is too short to be right all the time. Put the other persons feelings first and 99% of the time you will be right. Thanks again Tina for the mental boost. I’ll be happier today, and much nicer to be around!

    • Tina Gilbertson
      June 15, 2013 - 1:05 pm Reply

      I like the way you put that, Peggy. Just because something doesn’t seem right to me, doesn’t mean it’s not right from another point of view.

      I think it was good ol’ Rumi who said, “The fault lies in the blamer; spirit sees nothing to criticize.”

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Counsel4Living
    July 7, 2013 - 4:15 pm Reply

    Smart article… wise tip.

    • Tina Gilbertson
      July 7, 2013 - 6:28 pm Reply

      Thanks so much, I’m glad it spoke to you. I appreciate your stopping by and leaving a comment.

      • Counsel4Living
        July 7, 2013 - 6:30 pm Reply

        You’re welcome Tina. It’s good to have a counseling colleague in this community.

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