In many relationships today, people play to be right instead of playing to win. This minor distinction can make a huge difference in the quality of that relationship in the present and going forward into the future.
But, before diving into this, a few definitions. A relationship is not limited to the romantic variety in this post. This can apply to friendships, families, romance, work, education, as well as cultural.
Play to be right
This lens often looks like playing to win. The person feels they have to demonstrate that they’re right. Often times, words of all manners of harshness is fair game to win the argument to showcase how right they are.
We’ve all seen those arguments or been involved with someone who is so determined to be right they don’t mind stretching the truth and insulting you in the process of being right.
The playbook is simple, to admit you’re wrong is to accept defeat and a show of weakness. They will argue a long time with increasingly bigger gestures, larger displays of emotions, and more intense expressions. These are the royal pains in the butt as everything has to be correct from their point of view.
Their lens can not focus on anything that they don’t deem to be right. Everyone who has a different focal point is quickly dismissed as inferior. Just check the words used.
“They’re too stupid to see how wrong they are”
“If only they listened to me, they’d be better off”
“They’re such idiots, don’t they know I’m right?”
Them versus me/us
That ferocious need to be right means reducing other humans to smaller subhuman levels. Hate easily sets roots against those deemed wrong.
The narrow-mindedness often required to hold others as wrong can be quite astounding, although not a requirement. The lack of empathy in this fight can be astonishing too. Just imagine how it must feel to see a good natured person you know get extremely heated when arguing with another (let’s just say… a waiter… for visuals)… and when they’re done ‘destroying’ the “other”, they’ve now got to apologize for you witnessing them being out of character.
Being in a romantic relationshp with someone who has to be right can be hard on one’s self esteem… not to mention hard on the survivability of the relationship. It’s too often their way or the highway.
more on being right and winning on the next page