Being Right

“The master resides in the center of the circle, while yes and no pursue each other
around the circumference.”

These words from Lao Tzu have been on my mind a lot these days while observing this so-called debate about health care (among other issues) wherein everyone (certain that they’re right of course) is shouting, but no one is listening.

For years, one of my favorite expressions has been “may God protect me from people who are sure they’re right.” No more so than now.

So, while watching this depressing show being put on by our “leaders” (behaving like children) and the media talking heads bellowing at each other, I get at least why these people do it – to get elected or to get money. Not much I can do about all that anger I reckon, except tune it out.

But closer in, for my own life and my relationships , and those of my clients, (most particularly in our loving relationships with spouses and partners),there are potentially profound and useful lessons be learned in contemplating this need we humans have of “being right” – of “winning” an argument. Is it possible? I don’t think it’s possible.

Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s fine to be right – no problem. I even think it’s fine to want to be right, even to know you’re right – still no problem.

The problem happens when that’s not enough. The problem happens when we want our spouse (friend, partner) to acknowledge that they know we are right and then (even worse), to admit that they are wrong. In arguing, this constitutes “winning“, and this stresses and damages our relationships.

Nobody wins. Its lose/lose. Was being right worth it?

“People with opinions just go around bothering one another.”  –The Buddha

Be kind to yourself,


About Michael Scott

Michael Scott is a life coach, author and teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. After spending 35 years in business - coaching found him - and he's never looked back. Michael uses his coaching training and experience, in the service of his clients, as their constant and loving guide towards joyous, fulfilling lives which are genuinely their own. He lives with his dear wife in Sausalito, CA.

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