That is correct. The other side of the coin is that someone else has to be wrong.
Probably the most common and damaging threat to a healthy relationship is the need to be right. This represents the Ego, one of the three “Evil E’s”– Ego, Envy, and Entitlement – that I’ve written about previously. When someone always needs to be right, by definition, there is someone that always needs to be wrong. This may not seem to be of any great importance, until you realize that the person that is “wrong” also has their self-esteem damaged in many instances. The need to be right does far more than provoke arguments. The need to be right eats away at loyalty, trust, intimacy and eventually destroys relationships and teams.
Most divorces result from small insults to the ego that build up over time. Indeed, most fights between strangers result from the very same thing. It is the small blows to our self-esteem, the indignities, and the little insults to our vanity, that cause a lot of the pain in the world.
To me, the most annoying people to be around are the “know-it-alls.” It is sad at times, because the “know-it-alls” often have decent knowledge on many subjects, but no one wants to listen to someone preach at them on every topic. I can’t help but think that they could just sit in a room with a mirror and they would get the same social interaction.
So what does this mean?
Fight the need to be “right.” It is unimportant. Focus on the outcome that you want to achieve. Listen to other people as much as you speak. You may find there are things you had not thought of before. Changing someone’s opinion does not happen like a car slamming into a wall. It happens like a car taking a gentle turn in a new direction.
“Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they love truth.”
― Joseph Joubert
“It’s as simple as this. When people don’t unload their opinions and feel like they’ve been listened to, they won’t really get on board.”
― Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable