Do you know one person in your life that always has to be right? You're not alone. Then again, are you that person?
We all know one person who always thinks they're right. To many of my close friends and family, that person is me. I've been told this for years, and although I feel I've gotten better, there's always room for improvement. As many people who suffer from this all too common quality will tell you when giving their reason why they feel this way, it's that they feel strongly about the research they've done and are confident in what they believe. Yet, when a situation becomes more about being correct than the true essence of the question or subject matter in the first place, what does that tell you?
For me, that means looking within and trying to determine why I always feel the need to be correct. For starters, I don't think that's entirely the case for myself, but it's part of the story. I know it seems I am participating in the typical course of action for someone who believes they are never wrong, which means defending oneself but hear me out.
I've experienced many trials and tribulations in my life, and through them, I have gained great wisdom. With that said, many of those times I've admitted when I was wrong or thanked an individual for teaching me a lesson. At times, I've even embraced being wrong because I learned how to manage a painful experience or ultimately came out on the other side of a given situation more knowledgeable than I was before it.
"Being wrong is a part of life, but it's key to your growth."
However, I know myself well enough to know constantly feeling right is a deep-seated issue, and that more often than not, it's because of pride. Anyone who knows me knows I've always been prideful. Part of my pride is rooted in having been raised by two intellectuals as parents and proving to them I knew what I was talking about when we participated in discussions. They almost always thought they were right too, which didn't help. I've learned so much from my parents, and sustaining a dialogue with them meant acquiring a thorough knowledge base of many things. Though, as time went on, it became about much more than holding my own against my parents.
Let's face it, who likes being wrong? None of us, honestly. Everyone wants to think they're right, and no one wants to admit when they are wrong. It's legitimately human nature, but this mindset unkempt can manifest characteristics you don't want to have. Egotistical, narcissistic, and selfish are just a few words that come to mind. So, why is it difficult for me to admit when I am wrong? As mentioned, I've completed copious amounts of research on many life topics, so naturally, I feel well-versed in plenty of areas.
I've read a lot, listened to wide-ranging viewpoints of various subjects, and have gone above and beyond in my quest to learn more. Of course, that shouldn't equate to me feeling as if I have no more to know, and it doesn't whatsoever. Everyone wants to feel adequate, and I've always wanted to feel my intelligence is enough, especially considering the amount of time and dedication I've put into learning. But it also shouldn't mean I think I am always right because I genuinely believe our entire life's journey is a learning experience. Yet, extensive knowledge, coupled with my insatiable desire to compete, is not always the best mixture.
At various stages in my life, I constantly felt people doubted me. It started when I was younger, playing basketball. I was usually the smallest person on any court I played on, and with that came judgment from others. Coaches always thought I was undersized and couldn't play as well as others because of it. Other players continually questioned my abilities, and over the years, a chip formed on my shoulder.
At times, I felt outcast, as if I wasn't good enough, and that led me to work twice as hard as the people around me to become better at both the sport I loved and the individuals who doubted me. I would play against people again and again in an effort to show how much better I was than them, even if it meant putting them down. This mindset carried over into school and everyday life.
You see, when you're always trying to be right, it's typically due to an internal battle inside yourself, in which you feel you have to prove someone's preconceived notions of who you are wrong. After being put down for years, I began to do to others what was done to me. Shunning them with knowledge the moment I got the chance.
If I've come to learn something over the past few years, it's that treating others in this way isn't love, and for those I have, I never meant to do so. What should've been a teaching moment for both individuals turned into me thinking I knew more about something and couldn't possibly be wrong. Well, clearly, this isn't reality.
"You'll never know everything, and you'll always know something."
Believing you're always right can be detrimental to your growth. When I think back to the times I gained the most knowledge, it's when I listened to what others had to say, wrote it down, and understood it. It's when I opened up the pores of my mind and soaked up all of the information offered to me. That can't be done when you close your mind to interpretation and think you got it all figured out. Having this mindset crushes your ability to show compassion and display empathy for someone, and you don't ever want to be that type of person.
"Let all that you do be done in love."
In thinking you're always right, you truly take steps backward in your growth as a person. You don't see the opportunity to compare facts and find out the truth for what it is, and that's a chance for evolution as an individual. At the end of your life, you won't think about who came up with the answer for a question first or who knew what fact; you'll think about how you and someone else relished in that knowledge together. How you both made each other better as people, and you'll always want to be right about that.