‘Would you rather be right or free’, asks Byron Katie. On my opinion this is one of the best questions ever asked. Think about it. Being right versus being free. They’re not always the same thing.
Last week I came across a blog post about women’s body shape. I happened to disagree with most things in the post and found myself getting irritated. Angry words filled my thoughts as I thought about something snappy to comment. Suddenly I realised what I was doing.
I had taken it personally. Oh no, it’s a trap! Step back and think again. Instead of letting it go I found myself wanting to be right.
The post was not a personal attack towards me – it had just pushed my buttons. If something or someone pushes my buttons, I am responsible.
Yes, read again. If something pushes our buttons, it’s our responsibility to deal with it. But because we want justice and to be right, we head straight on to battlefield.
While a healthy argument can sometimes clear the air, demanding that someone agrees with our point of view rarely brings out the best in us. Taking responsibility doesn’t mean being a door mat and never feeling angry, and it certainly doesn’t mean you can’t have a differing opinion and express it.
Taking responsibility means understanding your inner workings and what makes you tick. It means taking ownership of how you’re feeling and sometimes agreeing to disagree. It’s a good exercise to think about how far our tolerance extends (I wrote about this after the Finnish presidential elections – you can read the post here).
After you’ve spoken your truth, let it go. Often that’s a lot more powerful than insisting you’re right.