Relationships: Right vs. Love (Part 2 of 4).

In this current blog series, I want you to consider this question: Do you want to be right or do you want to be in a love relationship? When you think of your most important personal relationships, is it your intention to pursue what is right or do you want to pursue what brings you love and closeness?

If you are in a relationship with someone in your life whose intention is to be right, let me go deeper in attempting to explain where this person may be coming from. In general, people who are out to prove they are right are deeply afraid deep down of failure. Avoiding failure and seeking right or perfection is the drive behind the need to be right.

It is one thing for someone to come behind you and argue with you on what is the right way to cut an onion or wash a car but it is another thing to always have this person trying to push their point upon you of what is the right way to do things. The experience of being with someone who has the intention of being right finds themselves tending to get into arguments or debates not only over the small things but also the big things.

In other words, to be right means that someone is wrong. To be right means one person is out to prove their point they are right and you are wrong. To be right means they view every interaction as a chance to prove and argue why they are right and how you are wrong. To be right means they view the relationship arena as similar to a court setting in which one person is either acting as a judge or a prosecuting attorney arguing their point or attempting to point out where you are wrong.

To be right then leads to judging. It is almost like the person who is seeking right is constantly monitoring their environment and scanning their interactions moment by moment trying to make sure they are right. Attempting to prove they are right can be exhausting.

For example, I heard the story of a couple who went out to dinner to a nice restaurant. The husband had been away on a business trip and had not seen his wife for a few days. His wife was excited to also see him and she scheduled reservations at a new restaurant they had wanted to try out. Half way into their meal their conversation led to what spice was being used for a particular dish. The husband argued it was one spice while the wife proposed it was this spice.
To settle this debate, the husband asked their waitress to ask the cook what is the particular spice that was being used in this one dish. The waitress asked the cook and the husbands point or spice he argued proved to be right, and he did a little dance in his chair celebrating his victory that he was right.

Needless to say, the wife was hurt. She shut down, said very little the rest of the night, and the evening was filled with more silence than words. She ended up going to bed early with little time spent in any romance or intimacy. Arguing the point of what spice was used in a particular dish certainly led to the husband being right. But in the end, the wife was hurt and annoyed over how much the husband was so proud of being right and how little love and intimacy they had given each other due to his need to be right.

You see, to be right is also about viewing the relationships as a competition. It is one thing to be right maybe in playing tennis or if you are a contractor and your numbers and measurements need to be accurate, but to view a close personal relationship as an arena for competition and as a place to be right and win, this usually does not work. Trying to win and the other person loses by proving you are right and the other person is wrong is a recipe for hurt and mistrust.

I don’t know about you but being with someone, whatever the relationship description may be, whose agenda or intention is to be right can be difficult to be a relationship with. To be right means someone wins and someone loses. To be right leads to unhealthy intentions and unhealthy relationships as the person proving her or she is right is more concerned about winning and themselves then they are concerned with the other person and the relationship.

So be cautious of how much interaction you want to have with someone who is out to be right. Set some good boundaries and protect yourself if you have someone in your life who is out to prove they are right. Yes, it may be difficult to do this if this person is your spouse, your boss, your co-worker, your child. In my next blog, I will share some ideas for you of how to pursue a love relationship with someone who wants to be right so as to possibly find a way to be in a relationship with someone who seems to want to be right all the time. Thanks for reading.