Relationships lost over the need to be right
It was arguing to prevail, to be the best at the debate.
Of course, there are no winners here.
I used to know someone who thought it was more important to establish the facts (that is, the facts as he saw them), in a disagreement with his wife than to leave her happy. I am talking about mostly mundane arguments here such as how salty the soup is.
There are some people who find it very important to be right. They want others to recognize that they are right. They know the most. They are sometimes also the people who say, "I told you so." They want to triumph.
In the course of pursuing that victory, they lose something. Conquering others does not engender closeness. The victor walks off, head held high but, alone.
The man I mentioned above, who was so frequently correcting his wife and dominating in their disagreements, had an impoverished marriage. In fact, although he was really a sweet and good person, because of this one penchant for arguing for the so-called facts, he was a pretty lonely guy.
Sadly, he never figured it out.
Do you know someone who fights for the prize of being the one who is right? Do you have this habit? In my view, most of the time, in personal relationships, it doesn't matter; being right contributes to a sense of self-importance but it isn't important who is right.
That isn't what personal relationships are about. It seems to me that it is much more valuable to the nourishment of the relationship to accept the other's different perspective.
I believe it is usually more fruitful to truly consider the propositions put out by your mate or friend. So, why do I say it's better?
Because this attitude buys you so much:
Engagement (a non-conversation stopper)
Learning about another person
Closeness (your partner feels heard)
The absence of putting down someone you care about
You both got to enjoy an exchange
You can both leave the encounter happy
You are less likely to incur resentment
You might get to be listened to yourself, without having to impose yourself on the other