Right or Wrong?

 Right or Wrong?

Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One of the most poisonous issues in any relationship is the intense need to be vindicated in our thinking that we’re right and the other person is wrong. In my experience and opinion, this is an issue that can rip any relationship completely apart.

I’d like to propose another viewpoint to you. How about looking at it from the point of view of

‘it’s not a matter of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ but rather of ‘my insight can help you and your insight can help me’.

When my husband and I argue about an issue, things can get pretty heated. We are both passionate about our own point of view (as are we all). Oftentimes in the past, I would dig my heels in and stubbornly refuse to even entertain his viewpoint and he would just repeat what he’d said over and over and over in the hopes that repetition would make me agree.

We then realised that this was getting us nowhere – fast. So now, when I start feeling myself getting angry when we are discussing something, I recognise the feeling and switch my attention to really listening to what he has to say instead of just steadfastly trying to defend my own standpoint. I then ask him to clarify the points that don’t sit right with me and we discuss the issue from different angles so that we both fully understand what we’re bringing to the discussion.

We have both found that this process clarifies the point we’re trying to make in our own minds, helps us to see the other person’s point of view and brings new information into the equation which gives us a more complete picture to discuss. We often both end up with new insight into and understanding about the topic we are discussing because it is no longer about ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ but about each bringing a valid viewpoint to the table which can enrich the outcome for both. This doesn’t mean that we always end up agreeing with the other viewpoint, but we do have an insight into their viewpoint and more information with which to inform our own viewpoint.

The most important thing is the fact that we don’t end up trying to destroy the other person in our own efforts to be proved right.

So you see, it doesn’t have to be a matter of being ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Going through this process just means being presented with a golden opportunity to build someone else up by allowing their insight to help you and your insight to help them.

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