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  • Writer's pictureDavid Stamation

The Cost of Being Right - Eroding Relationships

Years ago I was teaching a personal development seminar and a particular segment struck everyone by surprise - the cost of being right. The key takeaway was when you are right, you make someone wrong.

We've all been on one end or another of this stick- being right or being made wrong. Take a moment to reflect on your personal and professional experience of whether you are compelled to be right or the one who was made wrong.

  • Are you the one being right? Then reflect why, what is your need for doing it?

  • Have you been the one made wrong? Reflect on how it made you feel and what you decided to do about it, if anything.

Let's cover where it comes from and how it erodes relationships.

People who have been made wrong can have a range of responses from emotional shut down (disconnection), to resentment, and revenge. Once made wrong, they never forget and will maintain the grudge until they can get even.

For some the need to be right is overpowering and asking them to have awareness doesn't work. For this more deeply embedded behavior we'll look under the hood and the emotional baggage that drives it.

Often it shows up as an old childhood strategy, needing to be right, that we identify and update in coaching. These changes are tremendously helpful since you update the strategy with your present values and the person you are today, an adult strategy.

Now What?

If you resonate with being right. Like so many things in personal development, awareness is the first step and observing our behavior and that of others. If you are a person who has a habit of being right, what if you were to dial it back 5-10% and focus it on your most important relationships? How might those relations improve?

If you resonate with being made wrong. If you are the person regularly made wrong, what if you were to let go of a grudge you hold against another person who made you wrong? What would that give you?

The Stretch

Continuing with awareness, over the next week observe where you are in this dynamic; the person who needs to be right or the one who is made wrong. Observe and note how it made you feel in either instance.


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