Wednesday, July 11, 2012
My husband and I are continually fighting about the stupidest things. When it’s over, I am angry at myself for getting hooked in another right-wrong battle. I need a new strategy? I want peace! Conflicted Dear Conflicted: You have a common relationship problem. Right-Wrong thinking and the accompanying competition are ego issues. It works like this, “I’m right, therefore, you’re wrong”. Both people want the last word (to be right). The more you want to win, the easier it is to be hooked into debating. Ask yourself why it matters who’s right or wrong and you’ll discover your ego issue. (You can only work on your issue, not his.) Also, is being right more important than experiencing harmony in the relationship? If so, you’ve made a poor choice. Being right can often relate to being alone. Who wants to do battle over every little issue? Look closely! Both of you want validation and neither will give it. Try this instead, next time the “disagreement” occurs, face your spouse and tell him, “You’re right”. The truth is you both have a right to your opinion and one person’s idea doesn’t invalidate or supersede the other. Of course, if there is never agreement, the marriage is probably in jeopardy anyway, but it never works to force your ideas on others. When you focus on your personal self and being right, instead of what is good for all, you are working from ego. Ego demands attention and doesn’t care what the cost is in getting it. Instead, honor your individuality by allowing both to be right. Accept your differences and each one’s right to his viewpoint. Thus you release conflict and allow peace to move into the relationship. Broaden this practice by saying to everyone, “you’re right”. The driver who passes you waving his fist and cursing – “You’re right”. The crabby friend / relative who phones to rail against someone – “You’re right”. The disgruntled employee / boss / sales clerk -- “You’re right”. Then go about your business. Life is not a consensus. You don’t need permission to think what you want. Meanwhile, persist in expressing your highest regard for each person. Continue to give love, understanding, and compassion rather than a small black-white perspective of right versus wrong and the ledger keeping score. Guess what! You’re free!! Enjoy!