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The Destruction of Being Right

We need to be right. It feels good, and validates our self-worth. We’ll knowingly suffer the negative consequences of broken relationships in order to satisfy our burning need to win the smallest argument. However, this need of ours breeds mistrust and conflict. We alienate ourselves from others and destroy relationships when we insist on always being right.

There are circumstances that require us to stand for what is right, and in those situations, we should never falter. But in most instances, it’s the need to be right with the day-to-day insignificant nothings that damages relationships and reputations. And for that, we need to stop being right all the time. There’s something destructive that happens when you argue your point to the bitter end. You see, every time you have to be right, there’s a good chance someone else has to be wrong. And if you can show me someone you regularly beat in an argument, I’ll show you someone who you’ve made a loser. Because by anybody’s definition, getting knocked down over and over, and never being able to get back up because the other person always has to be right, makes that person a loser.

For much of my life, I always had to be right. After I realized the destruction I caused with the people who meant the most to me, I found that changing my ways was as simple as changing my mind. By choosing to become a better listener, I opened my mind to new perspectives. And something magical happened when I let go of my need to be right. I realized that if I gave up being right, it wasn’t an acknowledgement I was wrong. I simply gave up the need to persuade others I was right. And when I did that, I stopped making losers and started creating winners in my life. At the same time, I began the journey from being right to being happy. I challenge you to join me on that journey.

Clint Swindall

© 2015 Clint Swindall — Clint is the president & CEO of Verbalocity, Inc., a personal development company with a focus on leadership enhancement. For information about how he can enhance employee engagement in your organization, please visit, or contact him directly at

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