“Sometimes it’s better to be kind than to be right. We do not need an intelligent mind that speaks, but a patient heart that listens.” —Gautama Buddha
Our relationships provide us with unlimited opportunities to evolve and become better people. In healthy relationships, there is always room for the other person’s opinion and beliefs. They can also create unexpected challenges.
I am sure you know someone who thinks and believes differently than you about a particular subject. Does holding that viewpoint make them wrong and you right?
Most of the time there is no way to change their mind. Problems arise when you or they insist on “being right” or having the last word.
Right and wrong are fluid concepts. The mind is capable of providing interpretations that are impossibly unrealistic or wildly optimistic. These become the stories we tell ourselves.
Being right is a paradox. it’s built on a wrong assumption that things are purely objective.
Reality is a by-product of our perception. We all watch the same world but observe different things. That’s the magic of being human — we are continually being challenged by others’ perceptions.
It is easy to get caught in the ego trip of self-righteousness when we think we are right, it gives a sense of false power, of being better than, winning over, and checkmating the other person.
Insisting on being right does not bring us closer. It creates distance and mis-trust rupturing our relational bonds. We stop listening, we oversimplify reality, we forget we are subjects, and we pay a high price for it; our own stubborn resistance paralyzes us.
Our thoughts can be extremely convincing when we are trying to determine what we believe. The difference between what is and what I think is can be an incredibly difficult distinction to make. After all, we are evidence seeking machines; products of our own confirmation bias.
Many times, being right masks bullying. Others more powerful than us make the rules and we must live with the consequences. Our personal and collective human history is full of examples.
Thus, like the child who is bullied, feelings of fear, anger, or despair move us away from each other or we violently collide to aggressively pit ourselves against each other.
Every one of us wants to be loved and valued for who she or he is and what we contribute. We want to feel safe to share ourselves with each other without being shut down, ridiculed or attacked.
Old habits take a long time to die. There are still times that I forget that it’s not about being right. It can be very difficult for those of us who have long been attached to being right. It feels vulnerable to stay open and curious but it’s freeing, humbling me.
Cultivating open-mindedness and curiosity by practicing reflection is enormously valuable in my close relationships. By respecting another viewpoint, I honestly look at my own beliefs, thoughts, and perceptions. I actively suspend critical judgement by not declaring that you are wrong, and I am right.
I express an openness to look at our conclusions from our unique perspectives and trust that through this process I will learn about “us” and that own shadows will be illuminated by our coming together.
Learning to trust oneself in any relationship invites us to find and create new ways of being with each other. Being human is more important than being right as trust is a necessary foundation for any relationship.
Trusting the process that our relational opportunities offer help me to be a kinder and more caring person enhancing my relationships in innumerable ways.
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” —Stephen Covey
This month, I invite you to be a more open, trusting person in your relationships and to quickly restore harmony and balance as you center yourself in the middle with Fleur Trust Spray.
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