“Do I want to be right? Or do I want to be happy?”
This is a quote from one of my favorite authors; Richard Carlson, from the book Shortcut through Therapy: Ten Principles of Growth-Oriented, Contented Living
This very idea of 'being right' pops up many time throughout my life. Most people believe they possess an astute sense of self-awareness. Eventually, we uncover our need to be understood, but do we really?
Is being understood necessary to be happy?
Letting go of being wrong or tricking the brain by pretending may feel like a huge weight being released from the body. If we have to be right or understood all the time — that alone puts pressure on us to keep defending our stance. The invisible stress bubble enlarges to a point of being uncomfortable. None of us like to be corrected. We want everyone to understand where we are coming from and see our perspective. Unfortunately, we will fail if that is the goal we are trying to achieve. Stop correcting and let go. You have to decide what is more important.
Start listening and trying to understand their point of view.
I’m not saying for others to be right ALL the time, but what I am saying is how about letting them be right considerably more...
I’m reminded by the “Behavior Doctor” Dr. Laura Riffel speaking on student behaviors. She told the story of her son wanting to always be right, and his ability to debate aggressively at the age of three. He is now a district attorney so he found his calling. With her husband’s help they came upon the phrase “probably so” anytime they were in a debate with their son. They would try and argue their point and never win regardless of the topic. So, they decided to start saying 'probably so' to the argument. This stopped the future attorney in his tracks and there wasn’t anything to say to that four syllable phrase.
So, next time you are in a debate or argument try adding the phrase “probably so” to the conversation as an experiment to see what happens, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Think of a family member, friend, coworker, student, or even an acquaintance that you might have overstepped or argued with and...
Try any one or all 3 Things:
This is just a simple way of letting them know you care, and maybe next argument or debate you will stop yourself and say “probably so…”
genuine; or sincere.
All eyes in the classroom immediately sparked with unfeigned interest.
Try using it this week in conversation.