UMBC Wellness in the Workplace

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November 2009: Let go of needing to be ‘right.’

From experience and from observing breakdowns in relationships, this practice is one that could teach us for a lifetime and have transformational effects in our relationships. When we hold the story “I’m right,” we shut off any other possibility for partnership and collaboration with others. There is no room for them in this story, and quite frankly, there’s no room for us to learn, change, and grow personally or in our relationships. Our attachment to being right can be either obvious or subtle and it’s worthy territory to explore the various ways that our attachment manifests and how this affects our relationships.

Notice in your conversations with others when you are attached to your story, belief, etc. For example, you may be someone who cherishes collaboration and yet after asking for others’ opinions, you look for validation about how you’re right. What others might feel in the presence of this kind of exchange is that you don’t really want their opinion, aren’t hearing them, and it might lead to lack of trust and lack of true collaboration. Once you notice where you are attached, ask for your partner’s opinion and see if there’s a win-win that allows you both to be right. Or, if you are unwilling to let go entirely, let go of a piece and notice what shifts occur within the dynamic of the conversation. If you still find yourself attached, ask yourself whether your desire to be right is worth the potential damage to the relationship.