Being right versus living in Harmony, Joy, Stillness, Truth and Love

Relationships can easily be harmonious when we let go of being right

Being right versus living in Harmony, Joy, Stillness, Truth and Love

In my work as a counsellor I often see how ‘needing to be right’ plays a big part in relationship breakdowns where people have a difference of opinion and cannot resolve things until a point is agreed upon. This leaves them in the perpetual tension of trying to get the other to accept their point of view as the ‘right one’ and to renounce their own reality.

This usually results in an escalation of the tension as the person who is needing to be right brings more energy and volume to getting their point across at the expense of harmony. The volume escalates as no one feels heard and most likely is being heard less and less as they focus on getting heard rather than actually hearing. In an effort to be heard they speak louder and get more frustrated and the tension escalates into naming, blaming and shaming each other, even bringing in situations completely unrelated in order to justify one’s viewpoint. This occurs in families, between partners and in work situations.

It is possible to completely let go of needing to be right and to engage with the reality of the other by becoming curious and asking them more about their perspective – even though it completely clashes with your own? This can be achieved when we learn that purpose, harmony, stillness and love are the primary goals of the relationship and that anything that takes us away from these qualities needs to be arrested. It is the responsibility of whoever is most grounded in the moment to call out what is not taking us towards our goals of harmony and to stop the escalation, change tack and try something different.

Something different that can be tried is to suspend your own reality and fully engage with the reality of the other – even though you don’t agree with it.

To do this we have to replace the need to be right with curiosity. This might involve exploring their viewpoint and authentically engaging with what they are delivering – even though it doesn’t accord with your own! Of course, this takes some practice but is a most worthy pursuit: I know this because I have seen it deliver great results with many people.

An example could be where parents have a difference of opinion about whether their 15-year-old daughter should be allowed to sleep over after her friend’s 16th birthday. Mum thinks it’s fine and Dad is dead set against the idea. In the discussion, each thinks they are right and as they try to get the other to align with their own viewpoint, they become louder and more emphatic and an argument ensues and they end up in massive tension and storm away from each other.

When the couple have agreed to prioritise harmony over being right and really understand that this means a surrender of their attachment to their own viewpoint, then they can begin the process of discovering what’s true as opposed to being right.

We have the capacity to transform a scenario like: “She can’t – of course she can – don’t be ridiculous – you’re so over protective – you’re irresponsible – you’re behaving just like your mother here and look where she ended up – I can’t believe you would allow this, how stupid are you actually – what planet did you learn how to parent – you have no idea what boys this age get up to – remember what happened when we were kids – how smart was that?” And on it goes.

The transformation happens when we get curious:

“I’m really curious about your decision – can you share with me what’s behind it?”

“What is it that you are afraid of here?”

“Perhaps we should discuss this with Sarah (their daughter) and get her input?”

“Let’s talk about when is the right time for her to become more independent.”

Of course, learning to truly listen to what the other is saying – despite your own perspective – is a skill that is very valuable in all relationships/friendships or work situations where there is energy afoot that would prefer that you stay in the tension of arguing rather than exploring and listening.

Our behaviours are always impulsed by whichever energy we are aligned to and there are only two sources of energy. One is the divine fiery energy that wants us all living in harmony, truth, love, stillness and joy. The other is the astral energy that cares nought for our wellbeing and simply wants to perpetuate itself by having us living in the immediate recognition of our own individuality and the satisfaction of every desire – whether bestial, glamourous or illusory – regardless of the consequence. Needing to be right is a tool of this astral energy that lands us in tension and conflict which is exactly what it wants.

When we see the enemy as outside of ourselves – feeding us the need to be right and the energy of the ensuing argument – it is much easier to counter this external foe than when we think it is ourselves that are behaving this way. When we are in tension we lose connection with ourselves and cannot access the love on offer – an offer that can take us out of the swamp of tension and misery.

I am right and you are wrong is very divisive and individualistic and can be countered when we let go of ‘I and you’ and begin to make it about ‘we’.

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  • By Jean Gamble, Psychotherapist

    Jean works with individuals, couples, families, teenagers and children. She knows that when we move past our layers of protection from hurt and connect deeply with our innermost self we can have rich, satisfying and purposeful lives and relationships.

  • Photography: Rebecca W., UK, Photographer

    I am a tender and sensitive woman who is inspired by the playfulness of children and the beauty of nature. I love photographing people and capturing magical and joyful moments on my camera.