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You know the old expression: “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” The lesson in this question is to stop and recognize that sometimes we need to let things go and arguing just to prove we are right doesn’t always serve the higher good. Excellent advice. Wonderful advice. A secret to peace and serenity in any relationship. Sometimes we can’t have both and so better to choose happy over right? Yes?
Well maybe….What happens when you hear that saying and you secretly are thinking “I want both….I want to be BOTH right and happy?”
I hear you, sometimes it is hard to let that go. Sometimes you just can’t let it go. Sometimes you just have a deep seeded need to hear those magic words, “Yep, you are right.” And THEN you can go along with your day feeling happy. Yes, there are sometimes that it is worth the fight to prove your point. AND THEN there are times when we are arguing for a completely different reason, when we recognize I have taken this too far (ok well honestly you recognize that you may have taken this too far after your co-worker stomps out of the meeting or your partner eats the rest of his meal in silence)
What’s really going on? That is the question you need to be asking yourself. Deep down, what is going on here? Is it worth it to ruin a meal or ruin a relationship because I always need to prove my point?
Many people are completely unaware of this tendency while it is happening, they just get on a roll and before they know it the argument has gone way longer than necessary.
Maybe it doesn’t happen all the time, maybe it only happens with those closest to you, or maybe it only happens at work. So when you notice it happening (whether in the moment or 10 hours later) ask yourself what is going on? What is the pattern here? What am I wanting to get out of this situation?
What are you seeking from the person with who you are arguing? I bet it isn’t just to be right. Usually, there is something more going on then. Why do you NEED to be right?
Too often clients come in who are peace loving and passive and they report that they can’t seem to let things go when they get in an argument. They share that they are like a dog with a bone and they push and push until the other person gives up or they are declared the victor. Much of the time, these clients are peace loving and passive individuals to the point that they aren’t getting their needs met in their day to day life. To the point that can’t let the argument go because they so badly need the validation or the respect and this argument feels like the only place they are going to get it!!
When we are honest and upfront with our thoughts feelings and needs, we can then express them in healthy productive ways. When we stuff them or ignore them, they tend to come out when we least expect them. Next time you notice yourself debating between right and happy ask yourself: what is going on here? What do I really need? And then ask yourself ok how can I get that in other ways in my life? How can I express that need in other healthier ways?