“I told you that would happen didn’t I!” says Pam
Dan gives her ‘one of those looks’ and says, “You just love to be right don’t you!”
Pam: “No I don’t.”
Dan: “Oh yes you do.”
Pam: “No I don’t!”.
Dan: “Well right now you want to be right about not ‘loving to be right’!”
Pam: “No I don’t.”
Dan: “You wanna be right about me not being right then!”
Pam: “No I don’t! Anyway, who’s trying to be right now!”
By this time Dan isn’t even listening, “Well what about the time when you ……..”
And so on …..
At this point, Pam decides to leave the room and distract herself with the cleaning. Dan immediately switches on the television.
No matter how trivial the discussion, there’s a part of us that just wants to be right, (or probably more to the truth a part of us that doesn’t want to be wrong!) No, being ‘wrong’ is definitely ‘not right’. Feeling ‘wrong’ can remind us of our childhood, make us feel ‘small’ and that can be very uncomfortable indeed!
Underneath ‘being right’ Pam is covering up her fear.
Pam is probably scared that if she is not seen to ’know the right answer’ someone may think she’s ‘stupid’ and then she could risk being disliked, humiliated or even rejected, and if that were to happen she would end up feeling unloved and lonely. Because of this she needs to defend her ‘position’ at all costs. Also, Pam is so desperate not to appear to ‘be right’ (incase someone judges her for being ‘arrogant’ or opinionated’ which would look equally ‘bad’) that she has to keep denying Dan’s words.
The irony is of course that the very thing Pam fears most, comes true as a result of her behaviour.
So what about Dan? Well he does his ‘own version’ of the same thing and their interaction results in ‘stale mate’, both parties experiencing a loss of ‘connection’. In ‘real life’ this ‘disconnection’ can last for days, weeks, even years! Maybe you know somebody personally who hasn’t spoken to an individual, or an entire family, for a long time?
If this is familiar to you, you may like to consider doing things differently.
Being attached to a ‘point of view’ is fine, but you won’t find any ‘cheese down that hole’! Some people may see the alternative as ‘giving in’ or the other person ‘winning’ but it doesn’t have to be like that. We are all entitled to our own opinions. When we can accept that we all have different opinions, not better or worse (“oh yes they are!”, pipes up that childish voice) we can create ‘win win’ situations.
So the next time you catch yourself trying to ‘be right’ look at the cost. Agreeing to disagree allows us to stay connected. Practice being compassionate with the part of you that is scared not to ‘get it right’, after all who dictates what’s right or wrong anyway?
Reassure the child within yourself that there’s no need to defend anything, it’s safe to be you now: be a great parent to yourself. And when you see that behaviour in others you could practice having some compassion for them too.
Remember, it only takes one person to break a pattern so why not let that person be YOU! You’ll thank yourself for it in the long run.
Speak soon …..