When being RIGHT, can be so wrong!

We love to be RIGHT!

Don’t we?

But so often, trying so hard to be right, is totally wrong in a relationship.

So why do we get so stuck in the right-wrong way of things? 

Desperately trying to be right is a learned response from past incidences – a coping mechanism usually learnt in our childhood or youth, where being right was very important to our welfare. 

Being right might have meant we pleased our parent, or teacher. No real harm in that, but there is a darker side, where getting it wrong, meant we got that ‘disappointed in us’ look, or that stream of harsh words, or worse, that ‘belting’. 

So being wrong, left an indelible fear in our Amygdala (the protective smoke alarm part of our brain), telling us, “No matter what – don’t get it wrong!”

When getting it right and being right, is rigidly engrained in our way of being in arguments, it usually reveals, an attachment trauma from long ago! 

Bizarre isn’t it, that things that happened so very long ago can be playing havoc in our ability to stay safely, happily, kindly connected with our partner now – or anyone else for that matter! Because I bet if you have this need to be right with your partner, you probably also have it with your children, or work colleagues and yes, it’s likely the parent who accidentally taught it to you, also had that protective mechanism installed in their brain too!

We’re looking at a trans-generational trauma response – a survival response – that’s where your rigid need to be right is coming from!

Sometimes getting it right is important.

I mean getting it right, if you’re constructing a building, or operating on someone’s vital organs, yes, it is important to get it right, or at least do the very best job you can! 

But does being right in your relationship, truly hold the same life and death meaning? 

Well, this is the tricky part, because your brain tells you it does feel like a life and death situation because of those past incidences, that to you as a child, did feel pretty life threatening!

The need to be right is a survival response in your limbic brain that says, this is how I avoid getting into trouble. 

But they were lessons from another time, and another relationship. They may not be the best lesson references to be calling upon to create a happy harmonious relationship with your partner. 

Trying to be right in a love relationship kills the opportunity for loving connection!

Inevitably all your partner can do is shut down their opinion, thoughts, feelings and needs to avoid another argument. You’re left feeling “right’ but they are left feeling wrong, dismissed, belittled, diminished and eventually resentful that they aren’t given an equal voice in the relationship because your need to be right drowns theirs out.

The problem is, your brain is overriding your connecting patterns of behaviour and using a protective pattern of behaviour. It’s automated to do this whilst those past experiences are trauma wired in your brain!

So calming the trauma induced responses of always needing to be right (for fear of the consequences) is where we need to venture in therapy. Often people are shocked that, ‘the beltings’ or the gruff condemnation and shaming of their father, or the humiliation of being laughed at in class, has created such a desperate need to be right in their adult years.  Desperateness that will sabotage their desire to build a loving connection with their partner who is just trying to share a feeling where right or wrong has no bearing.

Want to really get it ‘right’ for your relationship? Book a counselling session to look at how your particular ‘right’ button was installed, so that you can reprogram that ‘protective’ neural circuit to a more ‘connecting’ neural pathway. It really won’t take a lot of therapy if your counsellor uses a somatic, trauma informed therapy. 

What do you think? Think I might be right?!