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To Be Right or To Be Loved

That is the question

By Relentless Kindness LilaPublished 5 months ago 5 min read

We all feel lousy when we are proven wrong. We all fold up within ourselves after a period of time without any validation. Yet, those who are right all the time drive us crazy.

Why does it matter so much to us that we are right or wrong? Deep down we know that nobody is right all the time and those who assume they are, just gain opposition. However, I find that when someone feels they are right, often others allow them to be right, regardless of their reasoning.

This caused me to wonder, why others instinctively correct me when I try to inform them. Why are some conversations like an aggressive ping-pong match with some people? Is it truly a matter of the pitch of my voice, or my confidence? Or is the information I share truly not received as accurate? Is my only option to practice power poses and become a B****Boss? No, please tell me no!

I explored my questions on this topic while working in a male-dominated field within the sciences. I was surprised to learn these 5 key points.

1. Being correct may feel good, but it does not mean that we are liked. Often when we are right we feel good, we feel as though we are being helpful or that others are pleased with us. The truth is we don't know what others are thinking and we can not rely on their validation to develop our skills or sense of self-worth. We each need to learn to validate ourselves. Because sometimes it matters that we are correct and we can't allow a habit of pleasing others to conflict with what needs to be done. Other times it doesn't matter if we are right, and it is good to act in a pleasing way. It is good for our soul to facilitate bonds and be liked by others, and doing what you believe to be right is not a static state of being. Following your arrow should ebb and flow with the necessity. Be discerning about when it matters if you are correct!

2. Being correct is a form of instant gratification and creates laziness in communication and human connections. Try not to be right more than 60% of the time, you don't want to get into a bad habit of not needing to explain yourself well. Good communication skills require the practice of dialogue and thoughtful explanations. If you find yourself being right all the time try to put yourself in rooms where you can still learn something from someone else. If you find that you feel wrong more than 60% of the time, place yourself in rooms where you can share things that you are good at or know a lot about. Challenge yourself to open up, regardless if others validate you or not!

3. The more unloved we feel the more we seek instant gratification. Feelings can be fleeting but they are like water to our soul. If you consistently feel unloved or wrong ask yourself why and explore the things that come up! (If you have teenagers perhaps you could use an hour a week where you get complimented on something you do well. Find a place for that to happen! Hosting an event with friends or a volunteer group is great for this!)

4. Those who would rather be correct than be truly loved are actually stuck in a cycle of instant gratification over dynamic connections which require familiarity with difficult self-reflection and awareness of one's inadequacies.

5. Being correct should only matter when it will create a tangible beneficial outcome. Otherwise, it is okay to just think to yourself. You can be right without anyone knowing. Sometimes it is enjoyable to be silently correct and watch things unfold as a practice of mindfulness and self-discovery. You can learn a lot about the people around you by letting them work things out and see what their approach to a situation might be. (Try it on your kids, it's fun to watch how their minds work!) Take a break from being the answer sometimes. Allow others to explore or wonder about something for a while. Everyone needs a challenge don't feel you need to be the one to provide the answer if you will not be around to troubleshoot any results!

The importance of being right probably means different things to us throughout our lives depending on age, resources, and current events. It does seem however that masculine individuals have difficulty knowing they are loved without also feeling correct. I hope we can all spend some time thinking about the differences between those two and begin to separate our self-worth from the validation of others.

In a society that claims to value diversity and removing lines and labels, it's ironic that we can still end up feeling the need to understand ourselves and others so deeply. When individuals don't fit into a certain group, they often start seeking validation and confirmation that they are on the right path. Unfortunately, we've become so preoccupied with our own feelings that we've lost sight of what truly matters - being vulnerable and exposing our flaws. It's through vulnerability that we make space for others to love us. The more we focus on being right, the less likely it is that others will be able to love us.

We seek to define ourselves as our best selves, not necessarily as we currently are. We all have work to do, let's just own it!

Things to practice saying:

"Whoops; looks like I was wrong about that."

"I don't know."

"I see what you mean, I hadn't thought about it that way. You are right, let's do that."

"I don't understand, could you tell me more about that?"

"You are right, awesome!"

Human connection comes from vulnerability. When we are right we tend to find love for ourselves, but when we are wrong, a door opens for others to love us. Find a balance because both are needed!

It is important to approach our imperfections playfully and strive to be forgiving and flexible towards ourselves and others. By doing so, we can experience the warmth and empowerment that comes with genuinely being loved in return.

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About the Creator

Relentless Kindness Lila

Born in a beautiful town in Arizona where the cowboys and the hippies meet. I walk with one foot in front of the other, exploring the difference between fear and freedom. I am growing into a fearless force of relentless kindness.

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  • Test5 months ago

    This article is fantastic—I appreciate its well-crafted and informative nature.

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