There is nothing wrong with a bit of healthy debating. And if we happen to have useful information that can benefit others, why wouldn’t we share it?
So there is being right by default, where our intention is to help others out.
And there is being right by debate. Where our intention is to show we are smarter and to ‘win’.
Has a partner or friend accused you of needing to be right, but you just can't see it?
Notice if you:
When we are confident and good at relationships, we recognise that if people want another perspective, they ask. And most information is a perspective. Even science tends to be added to, or cancelled out by new research.
So we listen to what others have to say, and share what we think if it’s clear the other person is interested, or asks for our opinion.
When we lose that natural reflection, and no longer notice if people want our opinion? But are always just barging in with it anyway? There tends to be a psychological reason behind it.
When we like to be right, we can have a tendency to turn everything into an argument, no matter how polite that argument is.
And when we approach everything as a conflict, we tend to:
If your childhood contained difficult experiences that left you feeling worthless, proving you are right can be your unconscious way to try to ‘earn’ value.
And if you also learned as a child that being wrong was dangerous, being right can be self-protection. For example, if you were punished for not doing well on school tests, or physically abused for any tiny thing you did that a parent didn’t like? Your brain would mistake someone having a different take on things as a personal attack.
A study at the University of Southern California used neural imaging on people with strong political beliefs who refused to be swayed by facts. The brain scans showed they were registering an attack on political beliefs as an attack on their personal selves.
Sometimes a need to be right can come from the way your brain is designed. 'Autism spectrum disorder' can mean your brain doesn't naturally read social cues, and that you might see things in a more black and white manner than others do. You might also be very passionate about a certain subject.
This can mean you overshare information and correct others when you perceive them as 'wrong', according to your worldview. It can be really hard for you to understand they see things in a less cut and dried fashion.
It’s about being open to other people’s perspectives, and about learning better relating skills.
Because relating is just that - a skill. Even if we were not taught how to relate well to others growing up, or it doesn’t come naturally to us because we are autistic, it can be studied and learned.
A therapist can help you recognise what is going wrong in your communicating. You can learn and practice better ways of behaving around others that raise your confidence and leave you less lonely.
Time to stop feeling rejected and start feeling connected? Use our easy booking tool now to find a therapist that can help.