• Belinda

The Need to be Right

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

The need to be right is about something that, on the surface can be dismissed if you have brief or short-term interactions with people however, sometimes, especially if there is prolonged exposure, it can impact life in so many ways, regardless on which side of the equation you find yourself on. The need to be right is something that can cause so much anguish to so many people whether from little disagreements to full scale arguments leading to disintegration of relationships, families, and businesses. The need to be right can be an incredibly unhealthy perspective that is really quite interesting to observe.

Considering it is something that has such a large impact on lives individually and collectively, and can have far reaching consequences for the people involved, why do some people need to be right all the time? Generally, and more commonly, the root cause is insecurity and expectation. Trust (or the lack thereof) also plays a part. These three things are just part of what forms a defence mechanism, usually stemming from dysfunction whether from childhood or traumatic events in a person’s life. The people that need to be right are so worried about how they will be perceived if they are wrong, that being right is the only option and they are so invested and believe that their scenario is in-fact correct, regardless of the real truth. Even if there are differing perspectives, both of which are not wrong, the other person’s view will not be right in the mind of someone who always needs to be right. There is no arguing the logic because the story created in their head that makes them right all the time makes complete sense to them and they are not ready to hear any different.

A person who feels the need to be right all the time will also have difficulty taking responsibility and accountability for their own problems, behaviours, and patterns within their life and in their work or business. This defence mechanism may have been necessary at a certain point in their life however, left unhealed, it can and will, cause destruction resulting in unhealthy, dysfunctional, and toxic relationships, whether that be with significant others, family, friends, or work colleagues, ultimately leaving them isolated, which is what causes the insecurity to further cement itself and thus, the cycle continues.

Sometimes, the need to be right can also be an indication of mental health issues because always needing to be right in their mind means that they can keep everything in check. They know disruptions can significantly trigger or upset them. The interesting thing about this is that when you constantly deal with someone who is always right, it causes the other person to close down and not speak because what they say won’t be heard, valued, or respected, creating a large wedge between people, due to the implications associated with that pattern of behaviour. As the person who is always right, of course, they will struggle to take accountability for the behaviours that lead up to that reaction and will thus blame the other person, who has already shut down, given up and ultimately walked away, which they have done to preserve their own dignity, self-worth, and self-respect. The person who needs to be right all the time then sees themselves as the victim, which rolls into another set of not so healthy behaviours, almost like being on a hamster wheel.

When someone is consistently asserting their need to be right, how does that make you feel? And if you have a different perspective that is also right or feel coerced into agreeing when you don’t fully support their viewpoint, have you stopped for a moment to notice what reaction this causes in your body, mind and soul? Do you feel like you are feeling disrespected or not heard? Perhaps this causes you to question yourself, your knowing and your beliefs. You notice your internal dialogue questioning ‘Could they actually right?’. These are all signs for you to stop and pay attention as it is time for you to stop, breathe, observe and regroup. Over time, dealing with someone who always needs to be right, can become really exhausting. The question for you is… Are you worth more?


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