Be right or happy?

When asked, “what’s more important, to be right or to be happy?” most people will reply, “to be happy of course”. But when we look at their behaviour we see that frequently, even over small stuff, they sacrifice their happiness in order to be right.

A wonderful bit of advice I read some years ago was:

Don’t sweat the small stuff….and it’s all small stuff”. 

Sound advice for confinement living!

The need of the ego to be right can be horrifically destructive in close relationships, especially when you are all confined within the same four walls as is the case for most of us right now.

A useful perspective that Rhea and I adopt is: No one and nothing has the obligation to conform to your expectations so stop getting offended because the world or other people do not conform to your expectations.

If, for example your map does not conform to the territory it would be pointless (and frankly a bit weird) to get offended by the territory. A better approach would be to first understand the territory and then adjust your map. This goes for people too. People are part of your mental map.  You will go crazy if you try to “fix” or change someone so that they conform to your map. A far better alternative is the attitude, “First try to understand the other before trying to make yourself understood”.

Often, the most sensible thing would be to openly recognise your part and simply ask for forgiveness. But you don’t want to appear weak so instead you get into the destructive one-upmanship of proving who is stronger, who is going to win the argument. 

If you really want to bring greater peace and harmony to your family, if you want to ease suffering and increase happiness, the best way is to be an example, a model of peace. Be kind to yourself because you will sometimes fail; accept, learn and carry on. Maintain firm your intention.

Treat yourself well by treating others well

Avoid the drama altogether by keeping small things small and letting go of the need to be right.

Be right or happy?

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