At its core, a powerful question is designed to make a difference to someone or something; if the question can not be translated into practical knowledge that changes something or someone, we need to ask better questions.
Consider the question:
“What is more important, winning an argument or maintaining a healthy relationship?”
When we prioritize being right over being in a relationship, we turn on our stress response and become defensive, argumentative, and dismissive of the other person’s feelings.
While it might be evident that we are not asking the right questions, from an evolutionary perspective, we are not supposed to be creative or curious when our stress response is triggered.
We may feel temporary satisfaction from “winning” an argument, but in the long run, our stubbornness is not translated into practical knowledge, and we are not changing anyone or anything.
All we are doing is causing damage to the relationship and creating resentment in a never-ending cycle of destruction.
So, the more rewarding question I like to ask is:
What should I be asking right now?
Choosing to be in a relationship over being right disables our stress response. This is a choice, and having the courage to make this choice enables us to approach conflict with curiosity, empathy, and compassion.
When we listen to the other person’s perspective and validate their feelings, we are already working towards finding a solution that benefits both parties. This approach requires vulnerability and a willingness to compromise, but it ultimately leads to a stronger and more fulfilling relationship.
It’s important to note that the question:
Do You Want to Be Right, or Do You Want To Be In a Relationship, isn’t just relevant to romantic relationships. It can apply to any relationship, from friendships to coworkers to family members.Tweet
By prioritizing the relationship over being right, we create a more harmonious and satisfying connection with those around us.
When we feel triggered or defensive, it can be helpful to take a moment to breathe deeply, observe our thoughts and emotions, and respond more intentionally.
If we focus on regulating our emotions first, we can approach conflict more calmly and clearly.
This article will walk you through some strategies to create a relationship where you don’t feel like you have to win the argument.
Reflect On Past Conflicts
Think about a time when you prioritized being right over the relationship. What was the outcome? How did it affect the relationship? What could you have done differently?
Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. How might they be feeling? What might they be thinking? By practicing empathy, we can better understand the other person’s perspective and work towards a solution that benefits both parties.
Consider The Long-term Consequences
We may feel temporary satisfaction when we prioritize being right in the moment. However, prioritizing the relationship can lead to deeper connections and more fulfilling interactions in the long run.
Focus On Shared Goals
We often find things we agree on even when we have different opinions. Concentrating on these shared values or experiences can make us feel more connected and work together to develop a solution that helps everyone.
Be Open To Compromises
Compromise is vital in any relationship, and it means being open to finding a solution that benefits both parties, even if it means giving up something we want.
Practice Silent Listening
When we practice silent listening, we show that we value the other person’s perspective and are willing to understand their point of view. This means paying full attention to them and asking questions to ensure we’ve understood correctly.
Interrupting can be perceived as disrespectful and prevent the speaker from fully expressing their thoughts and feelings. Instead, try to listen without interrupting, even if you disagree with what the speaker is saying.
When we don’t interrupt, we signal that we respect their perspective and are willing to hear them out. Once the speaker has finished, we can ask clarifying questions or express our thoughts and feelings respectfully.
We create a safe and supportive environment for meaningful conversation and conflict resolution by avoiding interruptions and practicing deep listening.
While prioritizing relationships is essential, setting boundaries and communicating our needs are also important.
Be specific and clear about what we need in the relationship and what we’re willing to tolerate. By setting healthy boundaries, we can ensure that our relationships are mutually respectful and fulfilling.
When we’re struggling with conflict in a relationship, seeking support from a trusted friend, family member, or therapist can be helpful.
A neutral third party can offer a fresh perspective and help us navigate the complex emotions that can arise during the conflict.
Practice Forgiveness Or Leave The Relationship
Forgiveness is a critical component of any healthy relationship. Holding onto grudges or resentments damages the relationship and prevents us from moving forward. By practicing forgiveness, we can let go of past hurts and build a stronger, more resilient relationship.
Expressing gratitude towards the other person can help us maintain a positive outlook and build stronger relationships. Focusing on what we appreciate about the other person fosters a sense of connection and mutual respect.
It’s important to reflect on our behavior and its impact on the relationship. Are we being defensive or dismissive?
Are we prioritizing our own needs over the needs of the relationship?
When we look honestly at ourselves, we can identify areas where we can improve.
Ultimately, choosing between being right and being in a relationship is personal. However, by prioritizing relationships over being right, we can create meaningful connections and live more fulfilling lives.
So the next time you find yourself in a disagreement, step back and ask yourself: “Do I want to be right, or do I want to be in a relationship?”
The answer may surprise you.
Recommended Books on Relationships
- Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
- The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: by John Gottman and Nan Silver
- The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection and Courage by Brené Brown
- The Two Buckets:The Relationship between Emotions and Actions
- The Two Buckets: Balancing Emotions and Actions for Personal Growth
- The Power of the Minimalistic Mind in Enhancing Clarity, Creativity, and Well-Being
- The Minimalistic Mind: Enhancing Clarity, Creativity, and Well-being
- Challenging The Path of Least Resistance