I spent years defending my point of view or the decisions I made with those who disagreed with me or told me I was making a mistake. It didn’t matter if the issue was big or small. I felt it was essential to stand up for myself and my thought process.
I’m sure we’ve all done this and can relate to the feeling of defensiveness. But many of us allow our egoic minds to fight for us to be right instead of being peacefully happy.
My egoic mind enjoyed the activity of arguing my point. It relished being calm and rational, while other people got emotional. But over time, I realized that I didn’t feel happy about the outcome, even if I won the argument.
This angst got me pondering why my ego was trying to defend my perspective to others. In reality, their opinion didn’t matter in how I would proceed forward. And if the debating left me feeling unhappy, why do it?
The egoic mind doesn’t want others to see our flaws, and certainly not our outright mistakes. So, it protects us by fighting for our opinion, even if our souls know we’ve taken a misstep. The ego is lazy. It would rather be wrong than feel the discomfort of growth by having to assimilate additional information. The egoic mind doesn’t care about our happiness as long as it protects its image to others.
We are not satisfied to be right unless we can prove others to be quite wrong. ~ William Hazlitt
The Protective Nature of the Ego
The ego’s job is to protect us from harm. However, the egoic mind thinks that being wrong hurts our image, and our persona needs protection. So its hackles go up, and it defends us by arguing to prove we are right.
This fear-based response is one of a closed or fixed mindset. When the egoic mind argues, it also puts the other person in an inferior place. Doing so allows the ego to feel superior and thus elevating our position in our own minds. The adverse reactions show the world our insecurities as we defend our position, even when we know we are wrong.
I felt that being right was a virtue, and being wrong was a weakness. I would not be weak. But this was a lie of the ego. So, because I felt insecure, I argued with others and felt good when I got my way in the disagreement. But overtime me winning didn’t bring me happiness.
So, why are we attached to our opinions and viewpoints? Partly because altering our understanding of something is uncomfortable. There is doubt about if this new idea or perspective applies to us. Or we learned our viewpoint from someone we respected or loved.
But change is neutral, and our discomfort is a sign of potential growth. Maybe we need to unlearn something others taught us or open our soulful eyes to see a fresh perspective.
The more a person needs to be right, the less certain he is. ~ Meir Ezra
Duality Imposed by the Egoic Mind
The duality of right and wrong is an illusion of the egoic mind. When the ego thinks another is wrong, the soul knows that the other person is reacting fearfully or is missing information to alter their current perspective. The soul’s compassionate nature desires to inspire others.
The ego lives in a dualistic environment, black and white, good or bad, love and hate. The egoic mind wants to control the outcomes as much as possible. But it’s an illusion. The ego is never in control. It just likes to believe it is. When reframing this controlling thinking into acceptance of what is, we can move away from the ego’s dualistic viewpoint.
The soul’s simplicity shines a light for us to realize the choice before us. Do we want to be right or be happy?
Happiness, as well as joy, are in direct correlation with peace and contentment. When the egoic mind is trying to be in control, happiness is less likely to occur because the ego’s monkey mind keeps the negativity flowing in our thoughts.
Choosing to be right isn’t necessarily essential or healthy for ourselves or the relationship we have with whom we’re arguing. Do we want to push others away? Probably not, so debating them will not bring us happiness.
Our addiction to always being right is a great block to the truth. It keeps us from the kind of openness that comes from confidence in our natural wisdom. ~ Stephen Levine
Being Heard Matters
In the grand scheme of things, most debates we have in our personal lives have little consequence with who’s right, outside of health and safety. Does it matter which way the toilet paper hangs as long as it’s there when we need it? Do the plates get clean in the dishwasher, even if it’s loaded differently than the way we would do it?
I’ve had disagreements at work with my boss and realized that it didn’t matter if my suggestion was taken or not, but I wanted to be heard. This revelation was pivotal in my life as I recognized that this need was at the crux of why my ego argued. It wasn’t about me being right. It was about me being heard.
All of my disagreements with my boss ended when I explained that I didn’t have an issue doing things her way, as long as she heard me out. When she listened to what I had to say, whatever the decision was, I was content. I felt she considered my viewpoint because she listened, and it satisfied my egoic mind.
Don’t allow the ego’s stubbornness to keep us argumentative and stuck in a pattern that causes us harm. Choose to let go of the attachment to be right.
Having someone who listens is a great gift, but to be truly heard is a treasure. ~ Tatjana Urbic
Happy People have Nothing to Prove
I believe happiness is a conscious choice. I also know the source of all joy is Spirit, so it is always with us. In my journey back to Spirit, I realized that I have to be wrong occasionally to learn to become authentically me. Because obviously, I’ve been wrong to live from a place of fear. I’ve been mistaken, as I have had to unlearn many things.
Being happy doesn’t mean we’re always right. It just means that it doesn’t matter who’s right and who’s wrong because we are focusing on moving forward together. And if we are mistaken, then we have a learning experience that doesn’t negatively affect our peace.
When we realize that it doesn’t matter who’s right, it makes it easier for us to get along with one another, apologize for our errors, and move forward.
So, we have the choice to be right or to be happy. I always choose happiness. If we choose to be right, it may mean that we are holding on to beliefs that no longer support us. Or the domestication from our childhood is ruling our lives. The longer we attach to being right, the longer we hold off our happiness.
There is nothing to prove and nothing to protect. I am who I am, and it’s enough. ~ Richard Rohr
Letting Go To Be Happy
When we are attached to being right and proving our point, we allow the disagreement to last long past what it needed to be. There is circular thinking that the ego uses to keep us stuck in this endless loop as it tries to defend our position. This negativity is toxic to our minds and our hearts because we are not our authentic selves.
As the egoic mind preserves our image by trying to show how the other has injured our pride, it only proves to our soulful self that these thoughts are causing our own suffering. The ego plays games instead of letting go of the attachment to be right. Can we see that the egoic mind is unconcerned about our happiness and would instead disconnect from others than find harmony?
We put on armor and masks as we hide our emotions, so the other doesn’t see how we are truly feeling. The fear of not being good enough is why the ego fights to be right. When we gain self-confidence and know our value, the need to prove our point fades away.
Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress. ~ Melody Beattie
Choosing to Create Peace
When we consciously choose happiness over being right, we are moving towards maintaining harmony and peace. This awareness allows us to look at others from a place of love and work towards understanding instead of reacting from a place of fear by withholding our authentic selves.
The ability to refocus away from arguing or defending our viewpoint means less squabbling or power struggles. Instead, we accept ourselves and others as we are, we are more forgiving, and we are looking for ways to be the light.
We’re the light when someone wants to debate, and we share information to connect authentically with the other, not prove our point. Foster peace by allowing the arguer to have the last word to end the differences quickly. Remember, everyone has a right to their opinion, even if it dramatically differs from our own- we don’t know what their experiences have been. Let go of the petty things that cause angst. It doesn’t matter what brand of ketchup they bought. Next time we’re at the store, we can replace it.
Be kind and respectful to a debater. Listen to what’s being said and end the discussion peacefully by letting go of defending our position. Don’t allow the egoic mind to think we are the bigger person or we are allowing the other to push us around. Instead, realize that there is a better way- one that keeps our peace and happiness intact.
Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best they have and all they are. ~ Hafsat Abiola
How To Choose Happiness Over Being Right
Since happiness is a conscious choice, we have to be willing to see things differently. When we see with the eyes of love instead of fear, we can see the joy all around us.
Choose to forgive others. Forgiveness doesn’t mean someone is right. It means that we release ourselves from any negative thoughts we may have about them. It releases us from the attachment and our need to defend our position.
Take responsibility for our part in the situation. It takes two to argue, so we have some culpability in the exchange. Own up to it, apologize if needed, and find a positive way to move towards harmony and reconnection with the other.
Be fair in exchanges with others. When we have issues that need to be resolved, learn how to manage the conflict productively and respectfully. No name-calling, no dismissal of the others’ feelings, no bringing up the past, no violence, and no blaming. Speak of how we feel, possible resolutions that are fair to both parties, and remember that we are choosing happiness.
When you are right, you have no need to be angry. When you are wrong, you have no right to be angry. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Only the ego wants to be right. The soul wants to love. Understanding we have a choice in handling disagreements or different points of view is crucial to our happiness. We can allow the egoic mind to put us in an endless loop of defending our opinion, or we can let go of the attachment to be right and choose peace.
When family and friends surround us during the holidays, let’s consciously work towards peace and harmony as we move forward into the New Year.
The sooner you decide that it is alright to believe the opposite of what the masses do and that it is alright to trust the universe, and you choose to be happy rather than be right, the sooner you will be happy. ~ Malti Bhojwani
Do you need support to help you choose happiness over being right? Do you want a strategy to help you overcome the ego’s limiting beliefs and live a successful life? If so, please contact me, and we can put together an action plan for you to create the life you desire.