Give Up Your Need to Always Be Right

I’ve decided to start writing my take on 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy.  The comprehensive structure is just too good to ignore.

As the oldest of three, I’ve not always set the best example.  When my younger brother first encountered my freshman history teacher, the teacher asked him if he was my brother.  He said yes.  And the teacher said, “Well, you can always tell a Burke, but you can’t tell him much.”  My brother was less than thrilled.

I can only  say I came by it honestly, even if that need to be always right wasn’t either true or always helpful.  Some of my earliest memories are late evening arguments (NOT conversations) involving adults in my life trying to beat each other to a pulp over religion and/or politics.  Always the same.  Always about winning.  Always to the argumentative death.  And always inconclusive.

I picked up on that habit and I’ve had an awful time stopping it. I can remember exposure to new ideas from sociology courses at college for which I was roundly criticized.  I gave as good as I got.  And all I accomplished was stunted relationships and a full-blown addiction.

What a revelation when I discovered that I don’t have to attend every argument I’m invited to.  Believe me, I have to work at that.  Some days I see that bait dangling constantly.  But I can change this about myself.  For that I’m responsible.  I don’t need to be right and when I’m clearly not right, I work on recognizing that and making amends for my hard-headed and hard-souled ways.

I don’t ever want to be the cause of a teacher or anybody else making a statement like that again.  Not ever.



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