Self Improvement: I Don’t Always Have to Be Right

I have always hated to lose. I have always been super competitive and because of that, I dislike losing. I am sure that comes with the territory, and lets be honest, nobody ENJOYS losing. But because of this, I seem to always take it to another level. I am an extremely argumentative person and have always battled this constant feeling of HAVING to be right. Even when I know I am wrong, I will keep up my argument just to win.

As you can imagine, this type of behavior has caused caused a lot of strain in various relationships, whether with friends, family or my wife. I will often make a mountain of a molehill, simply because I have to have my way or “win” the argument. As an example of how ridiculous I can be, a few years back, my wife and I were listening to a song and as we both sang along, we sang a particular lyric different. I was adamant I was right (even if mine made less sense) and she argued she was right. To end it, she pulled the lyrics up online to prove to me I was wrong. And then, with seeing the correct lyrics in front of me, the only thing I could say was “well these must be wrong too.” How ridiculous is that?! For years after I would still hold this up. And even though we BOTH knew I was wrong and knew it, I was smile and never admit the true lyrics.

It is stuff like this that can make me a difficult person to be around. I can be a contrarian and argumentative over just about anything, only because I want to be heard and I want to be right. I am sure a lot of this is just my competitive nature, but I am sure a lot has to do with my upbringing and how we went about arguing and discussing things.. not to mention when people gloat when they are right, they make you feel like shit for losing, so you just never admit defeat.

This last year, as we were under a great deal of stress (sold our house, moved in with our in-laws, bought a house, moved in and I started a new job), I could sense I was worse than ever before. As discussed in Relinquishing Control, I had to control everything and argue anything that was not going my way. I am sure a lot of my argumentative nature stems from having to have control of situations (or vice versa), but it is truly not a trait that is fun to be around. In December of last year, I started seeing a Therapist, and one of these reasons for that, was this very thing. I had to control situations, I was angry (perhaps a future blog post…), and I had to argue with everyone about everything. Part of this was the stress that was going on, part of it was my relationship, and part of this had to just do with feeling stuck doing work I did not fully enjoy. Regardless, my actions were not fair to those around me.

Identifying that I have this issue has been the biggest hurdle for me, because it wasn’t so much as identifying it, as it was admitting it. Admitting this is a problem feels like a loss to me, and as you now know, I dont like to lose. But its a daily battle. To work on this I am trying a lot of things. I am trying to listen more and understand the issues. I try to listen all the way through before speaking and I ask myself if what I am saying is warranted. I am admitting I am wrong when I can instead of holding it up. Aside from being an ass to be around when I cannot admit wrong doing, I want my children to learn that it is ok to be wrong and that good can come from it. For me, it is a constant struggle to remind myself to breath and not let every little thing bother me, and to not have to be right.

If you struggle with this, please share your thoughts and comments below on what works best for you, I would love to hear from you!

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15 thoughts on “Self Improvement: I Don’t Always Have to Be Right

  1. Hi – Thanks for visiting me – Interesting post here (hint: I have this problem) I try to find something to say to celebrate the other person’s win – and to be genuine about it (you can’t fool yourself). Somehow joining in with the winner moves me over to the winning side. It might take a bit of practice until you can get the ‘genuine’ part.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for visiting my super new blog! I am not someone who struggles with always needing to be right, but I do struggle with control when I feel my views are being invalidated by someone else. This usually is related to different perspectives however, and is not as clear cut as something like lyrics. I too went through counseling and it helped a ton. EFT was amazing ( My counselor was the one who introduced me to it. I would highly recommend looking into it if it is something you do not already do with your counselor.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Being honest with yourself is a HUGE step. I find yoga and meditation really helps me lose the ‘need’ to have constant control. Helps me relax and kind of go with the flow. Great blog here – keep writing and finding your path.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Getting to the truth is its own brand of success. Then it frames the discussion as research rather than right or wrong, win or lose. Your tenacity is admirable, but not when it grinds your self-image down. I hope your Therapist with a capital T helps you reframe your thinking so that you aren’t always judging yourself as a winner or loser.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Being wrong is the best thing that can happen to you. It allows you to learn and grow, to affirm someone else, to appreciate how large and beautiful the world is. The world cannot be known in its entirety by any of us. We are just part of its complex landscape. I wish you love and happiness on your journey.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Self Improvement: Managing My Anger | Career Do-Over

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