It feels good to be right about something, doesn’t it? Imagine you’re talking to a friend about a movie you saw recently, it has that one guy from that one show – what’s his name? You think it’s one person, but your friend is very sure it’s someone else. So you look it up… and ha! You were right! You feel a brief good-natured sense of satisfaction and share a laugh together.
If only issues in relationships were this easy to sort out. You could simply look up the answer and declare who is “right.” Your arguments would be solved.
Hold up. It isn’t that simple – and it shouldn’t be. Here are two things to focus on when you get caught up in winning the argument.
We’re on the same team.
Maintaining the “same team” mentality can seem hard sometimes. It might feel like you’re coming at each other from opposite corners. You’ve tried to understand your partner’s perspective and just can’t wrap your head around it. You’re so sure you’re right! But it’s during times like these that the mantra of “we’re on the same team” is most important. Teammates lift each other up for the good of the team, or in this case, your relationship. One person “winning” means the relationship loses, or at the most is stagnant. Instead, think about how you can be a good teammate to your partner. This might mean letting go of your pride, which is easier said than done when the urge to prove your point is strong. But if you can make it over that hill, it will pay off in the long run.
What outcome best serves our relationship?
Focusing on whether you’re right means you’re probably not putting much effort into understanding your partner better or thinking about how you can compromise. And that means you might be missing out on a really great opportunity to connect with your partner and actually grow together – but it takes the ability to let go of defensiveness and be vulnerable with each other. Are there worries or insecurities that are tied to your desire to be “right”? Share them with your partner. Growing closer in conflict instead of becoming more divided is an invaluable skill that will pay dividends throughout your relationship.
We are instilled with the idea that being right is satisfying and winning is a worthy goal. But when it comes to our relationships, this isn’t necessarily the case – in fact, it may actually be detrimental. If you’re able to remember that you’re not competing with your partner and instead focus on growing together in conflict, you set yourself up creating a strong, resilient relationship.
It should be noted that the types of conflicts we’re referring to in this post are those in which there is not a clear right or wrong solution. In instances of abuse, infidelity, or other crises, we encourage you to seek out appropriate support.