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Make Sure You’re Always Right December 11, 2008

Posted by downton in Make Sure You're Always Right.
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Make Sure You’re Always Right

     Seeking control as a leading part of your personal agenda can mess up a relationship in a hurry. For example, if one member of the relationship thinks “I’m the boss” or behaves that way, a series of conflicts will start that may last for sixty years. Getting back to the idea that we live in a human zoo, be aware that there is one type of animal who loves to have control. It’s the thinking and planning type. They take control to do us and the world a favor. They know that their way is the best way for everyone. They can’t help it; it’s the animal they are. Both sexes can be of this type. If you and your mate are both thinking and planning types, prepare for battles that will make World War II seem like a training camp.

     We all know that men have worked hard to be in control for centuries and are just now beginning to lose their grip on it. I mention this to show that gender can trump personality type; for example, in the old days, a man who didn’t have a head for planning anything, not even a trip to the grocery store, still felt he had the right to plan his wife’s life, his children’s life, and maybe even the life of his next door neighbor.

     In a sense, this was like the Divine Right of Kings, a cleaver device created by kings to get their way. Well, men had a Divine Right of Men and it worked well to keep them in control for centuries. Some men who still believe in it can screw up their relationships in a hurry. The reason? After buying into the myth of the Divine Right of Men for centuries, women quit believing in it. When that happened, suddenly reality appeared for everyone to see. The reality? Men were no better than women and, as some women say today (and they have a good case) men are not as good as women. When you look at how the world is being shredded by war and violence and then you look at who’s doing the shredding, you start believing in the Divine Right of Women.

     Okay, we’ve established that there are men and women, who, because of their psychological type, will want control. We’ve established that men, many incompetent, tried to keep control over their wives and children, but they’ve lost their grip on it. Even now, relationships still get messed up by men who are living in the past. They think they’re still wearing a crown.

     I opened up with the question of control, but this chapter is about a special way we create it—it’s by being right. If you watch people carefully for one day, you’ll notice how many are trying to prove they’re right. When they can prove it to their satisfaction, they will feel good. Do you know why? It’s because being right makes their egos feel bigger. Imagine that your ego is a balloon that inflates or deflates depending on what happens. For example, if you prove you’re right about something, your ego will expand. When it does, you’ll feel better about yourself and life will seem really peachy. However, if you’re proven wrong, your ego will deflate and you’ll feel little and bad. Feeling bad will make your mood bad which can turn a beautiful day into a nightmare.

     It’s no wonder that people want to be right and avoid being wrong. They’re just managing the size of their egos so they feel good enough to get out of bed in the morning.

     Now, what does this have to do with relationships? Everything! Many conflicts in relationships will be about “who’s right.” Who’s right about spending money and the right way to cook? If being right is a part of it, there will be a struggle. Sometimes, it may get real nasty.

     Think about how often you fight with your mate about who’s right? Or you might be the quiet type who doesn’t fight but knows in your heart that your mate is wrong. How often does your mate fight about who’s right?

     Now, fighting about who’s right isn’t always about who’s right. It can also be about who’s in control. When you catch yourself struggling to be right and arguing about it, you might take a moment to ask, “Am I just wanting control here?” If you find yourself answering “Yes,” there’s a good chance you’ll discover that what you’re arguing about isn’t worth your time. Think about how many times it made no difference about who was right or wrong in an argument.

     Relationships become better because mates become more aware of their behavior as human beings—that much of what they say and do is related to managing their ego size or wanting things a certain way because of the animal they are in the human zoo. The more aware two people are about what’s driving them to do what they do, the more they can move out of automatic and into choice. This will give love a chance. In fact,, it might even bloom.

Coaching Tips

■ Think about whether you’re a “control freak.” That’s a person who has to have control over everything, including the smallest thing. In fact, you know someone is a control freak when the smallest things matter almost as much as the larger things. They are addicted to control. If you’re one of those people, admit it and then ask yourself if the world would crumble if you gave up a bit of control. Yikes, I can feel your anxiety, because having control makes you feel secure, while giving it up makes you feel vulnerable. News flash! “Human beings discover that being flexible can make them feel secure because it gives them the ability to adapt to life. One control freak is saved.”

■ When you catch yourself fighting with your mate about what’s right, ask yourself if you’re both really after control. If you are, discuss how you can share it instead of fight over it.

■ Start noticing how much of your life is devoted to the management of your ego’s size so you can feel good about yourself. When you do, you’ll begin to understand why some people screw up their relationships while others become gardeners of love.

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