During the Wayne Dyer workshop I attended back in January, Dr. Dyer said something that really stuck with me. He said “When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.”
For months following the workshop, I diligently adhered to this philosophy; but lately, I realize that I’ve slacked off and fallen back to my old ways.
My husband probably bears the brunt of that. He has told me on various occasions that I always have to be right; I always have to get the last word in … to which I want to respond, “no, you do,” which of course if I did, I’d be proving him right!
My need to be right
What is it about me that drives my need to be right? Let me give you a few examples of some of the things I’ll do:
As a passenger in a car, if the person driving the car isn’t heading to the destination in the same way I would drive there, I casually mention that they could go a different way. Of course, this is subtly telling them they are going the wrong way. Is my way better? Probably not. Would we still get to wherever we needed to go if we went their way? Absolutely! So why was I compelled to say anything at all?
There are people in my world who, on occasion, repeat a story they have already told once, twice, perhaps even three times in the past. For the most part, I’m patient and I listen to their story again, but there are times when I’ll stop them and let them know I’ve already heard the story. Really?! What the heck? Why am I denying them the pleasure of telling their story again? What harm/hurt does it do me to listen? None, zip, zilch and yet I still interrupt them.
My husband and I will recall something that happened, but we each have a different recollection of what occurred. We’ll find ourselves going back and forth on what really happened; both of us needing the other to see that we are right with me throwing out the occasional “I have a better memory” card. Seriously?!
Putting your ego aside
The need to be right is definitely an ego driven thing. Is it an innate desire to be perfect, or a means to assuage our insecurities, or a way to make ourselves feel superior? Perhaps it’s a little of all those things. But being right is completely overrated if it comes at the expense of being kind.
Here’s the thing, We get to choose whether we let our ego come out and play.
So next time, during a casual conversation, a discussion or an argument, if you find yourself poised to launch an attack to prove you are right, consider the following:
Agree to disagree – everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, and it’s important that you respect that. That doesn’t mean you are wrong in your opinion. It just means you are open to other possibilities. If we can let go of our egos and not judge, we might learn something we didn’t already know.
Be humble – ultimately, it shouldn’t matter whether we are right or wrong. It’s more important that we treat the other person with respect and kindness.
Forgive – often times when 2 people are out to prove they are right, words are said that are meant to make a point but instead just come across as mean. Then when our feelings get hurt, our ego instinctively wants to lash out. Instead, we should practice forgiveness. Let go of resentment and speak from your heart rather than allowing your ego to do the talking.
The next time you find yourself caught in one or those “I’m right; you’re wrong” arguments, try practicing kindness. Put your ego aside and let kindness take its place.
Now that I recognize that I have fallen back to my ego-driven ways, I pledge to be more conscientious about being kind rather than being right. I’ll let you know how that goes … or, perhaps, my husband should be the one to let you know how that goes. 🙂
Question: Are you a member of the “be right” club or the “be kind” club?