The man who needed to be right

There was a man. He was permanently angry, irritated and frustrated with the world because the world was just so full of idiots. In his own mind he was always right and he got so angry and felt so frustrated when others just couldn’t see things the way he did. After all, he was right.

His need to be right made him a champion complainer.

When people saw him coming, at work, socially or wherever, they would inwardly roll their eyes and they would do their best to avoid him if they could. But he never noticed this. His frustration meant that he simply couldn’t hear what others said to him. He was just so irritated  to know he was right and that no one would pay him attention. This made him feel even crazier, and he got even angrier.

What he didn’t realise was that many who knew him had secretly given up; they would simply keep quiet waiting for him to finish whatever complaint he had about whatever person who wasn’t behaving as he knew they should – just the  latest person of many who just couldn’t see that he was right. For many, listening to him was a mind-crushingly boring experience. With time they learnt to keep quiet, let him finish and hopefully fuck off.  Sometimes, out of kindness people tried to help him; they would try and reason with him saying things like: “calm down man”, “shit happens”, “look, you’re never going to change other people; you’ll just go crazy trying; just accept it and learn to manage them”. But he never really heard their words as he was simply too full of being right. If one could equate attitude with food then being right was definitely his favourite flavour, his favourite food. He was unhappy, even lonely but at least he was right. He just couldn’t see that his ego was crushing the joy of life out of him.

He  had a  good friend, a man of infinite patience, who could see that he had a good heart and loved him for that. He saw that at some time he had been hurt, damaged, betrayed and that being right was simply how he defended himself from the fear of past and present imaginary demons.

His friend tried to counsel him. “Needing to be right will just drive you and everyone else crazy,” he said. “Instead, think about what works and what doesn´t work. Why not try empathy? Try to listen with  patience and humility. You have so many opportunities to learn here.” The man nodded his head. He agreed with his friend but secretly his ego said, “that might be true, but you are right”.

And so he went on, never really connecting with others, never really enjoying deep friendships, never receiving the recognition he deserved at work but at least he was right.


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