- Ricka Robb Kohnstamm
Are you better served by being right? Or by being kind?
It is so easy to want to be right.
Right about politics, right about the choices we make for the children we are responsible for, right about the color of the new bathroom, right about choosing who is in or out in the workplace, right about the way the silverware is ordered in the drawer, right about the argument, right about the takeout order, right about the way to approach the person who has harmed us, right about our ability to tell others how to do things that are good for them.
Right about how wrong you and your opinion are.
Our urge is to want it our way. The right way.
Perhaps it is a basic survival instinct - if I am right, then I will remain on top, I will self-determine my direction, I will survive over you, the wrong one.
But what if we were missing the point, sometimes entirely?
How might intentionally shifting your focus from being right to being kind be advantageous as you continue on your journey?
Consider these steps...
Increase your self-awareness, turn your attention towards yourself and pay attention to when you are hooked. Being hooked by uncertainty or threat can be uncomfortable. To relieve the discomfort, our strategy is to immediately move into the defensive response of defend, deflect, minimize. "You're not right... I am! And let me tell you how right I am! And, by the way, how very WRONG you are!" You may not actually verbalize this, but notice if the dialogue in your head sounds eerily familiar. Notice. And then own it.
Stay present. Take the time to "sit" with what you notice. Stay present, breathe it in, swim in it. Name it. Feel it. Stretch out the space.
Acknowledge that you have choice. Kindness exudes an energy of spaciousness, freedom, respectfulness. Notice what it feels like and that you can make the choice to move from feeling up in arms, defensive, fight/flight to feeling free and whole hearted. Just like that! Feel your shoulders release as you let go of the need to be right. Welcome in space for creativity, possibility, hope, connection, shared purpose. You determine which path you take and your energy will follow, as will the other person.
Expand your noticing even further, into a virtuous cycle. Create space, stay present, notice, acknowledge the choice to be kind. Over and over.
Notice how being kind, rather than being right, is advantageous to you (and others) as you continue on your journey.
Actions, aligned with values, support optimal health.