• Dr. Meagan Stanley

On the need to "be right"

Successfully working through arguments by letting go of the need to be right


In conflicts, disagreements, and even something as small as partner bickering, we may have an urge to be right. It can feel like an overwhelming urge, where we can lose sight of what the argument is even about. In this state, there are a few things you will notice:


1. You are no longer listening to the other person

2. There can feel like no way out unless you are proven right

3. You will feel a lack of peace and compassion

When we are aligned with our ego, and therefore our goal is to win or be right, there is no other room for listening to someone else. You may think you are listening—but what is the objective of this listening? Often, we say we are listening but really, we are just formulating our next defense. We already know what we want to say next before the person stops talking. Therefore, we aren’t truly listening.

If you feel stuck in an argument, it is most likely that the other person’s ego is also engaged. That means, there are two egos essentially at war – and being right is the only goal. We’ve all been here. Disagreements become cyclical; they may last for hours or end in hostility, rage, or shutting each other out completely.

In these states, no one is hearing the other person or providing care. Once aligned with ego, our needs and wants are the only thing we can hear. There is no peace. If you pay attention to the way you feel in these moments, you will begin to observe that there is often a lot of fear underneath this feeling. Start to look at where the fear is stemming from. The longer we stay afraid, the longer we will slip into damaging patterns used only to protect ourselves. With this armor, we not only lose the ability to hear what the other person is really saying, what they really need; but we also lose the ability to hear what we really need (hint: it's often acceptance and love).


When aligned with ego, neither side will feel heard or understood and compromise becomes unlikely. Remember that the first step is finding awareness followed by returning your attention to the present moment and listening to the other person. A difficult task, I know, but the only way to find a real resolution.

Be well,

MLS


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