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I think that so many of the problems that people experience in life come about because of their need to be right.

Take the little quiz below if you need to be convinced...

Q1. Which do you choose... Feeling Good or Feeling Bad?

Most people answer Feeling Good.

Q2. Which do you choose... Being Right or Being Wrong?

Most people answer Being Right.

(Now the tricky question...)

Q3. Which do you choose... Being Right or Feeling Good?

I can probably guess what your honest answer to this last question is, even though feeling good is the key to manifesting everything you want in life.

So why do you need to be right?

asked 17 Jun '10, 06:54

Stingray's gravatar image


edited 18 Jun '10, 05:23

Eddie's gravatar image


we are always both and we have free will to chose and need to make responsible choice. experience and enjoy.

(30 Jan '12, 16:35) white tiger

Up until the last few years, I indubitably lived from a position of needing to be right. Looking back, I was living from a fear based perspective so when anyone questioned my perspective ( irregardless of what the topic was ), I took it personal and felt threatened which just reinforced my need to be right. Needless to say that as a result I was leading a very limited and stagnant life.

Letting go of that need to be right was probably the greatest gift I have ever given myself. I've moved from a stagnant existence to a whole new spectrum of possibilities and as a result life is changing in ways I previously could not have imagined.By opening my mind I'm now allowing my natural growth and expansion to take place and I am consciously choosing what I want to believe.I'm pretty sure that as I continue to grow and expand some of those beliefs will probably change in accordance with my growing awareness.

Stingray made a very important point to CC - although we may not always agree with the answer given, it does help to at least consider it from another perspective and there is usually a tidbit of something for us to mull over.It also helps when we disagree to observe the reaction in ourselves - sometimes that need to be right tries to reassert itself.

Needing to be right also prevents us from listening because we are so caught up in our own perspective that we just can't hear the other person's opinion - we often miss out on information that could be invaluable.


answered 18 Jun '10, 00:56

Michaela's gravatar image



I think you've hit the nail on the head there, Michaela. The need to be right seems to go hand-in-hand with a fear-based perspective. I've noticed in my own life that as I've let go of fear in its various forms, I've also been able to embrace opposing viewpoints to a large extent and see the validity in them without feeling insecure in my own viewpoint. I think the evidence of Truth is everywhere - but it's down to us whether we choose to see it. Thanks.

(18 Jun '10, 06:16) Stingray

Thanks Stingray - Yes, as the fear begins to dissipate we're able to consider another's point of view without feeling insecure or threatened and a whole new world opens up to us.

(18 Jun '10, 11:25) Michaela

@Michaela I can totally relate with your first paragraph. The neediness to be right and the fear were definitely hand in hand not so long ago for me as well. It just comes down to a conscious choice in the end to decide if being right is more important that feeling good. Nice answer!

(30 Jan '12, 15:42) Cory

@Michaela - surely it also depends on whether we are a "truth" seeker ... such a person needs to be as receptive as possible to other views yet still maintain the ideal of "right".

(30 Jan '12, 23:51) blubird two
showing 2 of 4 show 2 more comments

In the past year I have discovered this "right or happy"and try as often as possible to apply it ,and in the long run I am happier.I have found many times where I "knew" I was right ,I was wrong. It takes an effort to not reply from right but do it from happy and I have found it has made me a better listener.

So I would recommend that a person should try it.

This is in everyday situations small let go of the need to be right.its very...downstream,going with the flow.



answered 17 Jun '10, 21:30

ursixx's gravatar image


Only a few short years ago I really struggled with having to be right. Not in a sense that I was a "know it all" but in a sense that my opinion had to be accepted as truth, especially when the conversation got a little heated.

This happened quite a bit with my dad over the years, and that is why our relationship is a little strained still to this day. Two personalities that were at war with each other and didn't care for the others perspective. We only cared to have our own opinions be the accepted final opinion of truth.

I wasn't consciously aware of it then, but as I look back now, I have come to realize that I was the type that was always waiting to talk instead of listening, absorbing the information, and then coming up with a valuable well thought out response. My ego was pretty much running the show completely and I was on full blown auto-pilot.

Now to my opinion on why I believe we feel the need to be right.

I think it's as simple a looking at the habits of our ego, our environment we grew up in as a kid, the people we shared time with in school and out of school. When grow as a human being in a particular environment, we kind of get the stuck on the default setting of those particular surroundings.

There does come a time though when we grow up and become adults. We then have a conscious choice to make changes if we are not happy with our repetitive habits.

Similar to what Michaela said above, having my perspective come into question by others led to a fear based response which makes you feel threatened and then for me anger presented itself a good portion of the time. The anger response can get out of control and become so unconsciously habitual, it then becomes a dysfunctional but normal part of life.

My change started to occur when I took time to listen, or took a few seconds to evaluate the situation. You could also say that it was just simply getting into the Now moment. When I started to disrupt that very quick signal from the eyes or ears to the brain, even for a few seconds, it gave me a chance decide for myself how I wanted to react instead of being the automatic reactor.

I am a lot better at not feeling the need to be right anymore. I still have my moments, but I sure feel more calm and relaxed when the "comfort zone" of old isn't acting up like it used to. I can also value others opinions for what they actually are....their opinions. There is no need to let another persons opinion affect my life. They have their own way of doing things, and I have mine.


answered 30 Jan '12, 16:21

Cory's gravatar image


edited 30 Jan '12, 16:23


Hi Cory. I liked your answer by the time I was into the 3rd paragraph. I enjoyed your honesty and willingness to bear your soul. Have you noticed that when you admit that you don't know it all, everybody becomes more comfortable talking to you and even asking you for advice? Dale Carnegie’s "how to win friends and influence people" was a great guide for me in learning how to let everyone be right. But I still struggle with it, especially when I believe that the other person is narrow-minded.

(30 Jan '12, 18:38) The Traveller

@The Traveller - I would say that I do notice more of a lessening of tension when other people speak to me but more so on my part. There is no more expectation from others that I may get angry when my point of view isn't accepted and it is a huge load off my back for sure. When that tension of habitual words and action ceases, every conversation becomes softer from the very beginning. If there in no fuel being put on the fire, then the fire eventually goes out or does even catch to begin with.

(30 Jan '12, 23:30) Cory

@The Traveller - I haven't read that particular book by Dale Carnegie (I've read "How to stop worrying and start living" which I highly recommend) but if the main concept is to let people be right, then I think that's a perfect solution. I struggled for years with my fathers narrow mindedness until one day I let him be him and we haven't argued in years. For me it came down to a simple fact of stopping my obsession to see things my way and opening up to other opinions, and then making a...

(30 Jan '12, 23:32) Cory

...decision of how I wanted to react and judge instead of going into auto-pilot judgmental mode. I would say stick with the viewpoints that you truly believe in. Let other people have their own viewpoints because pushing against them is not going to make them change and you will be the one paying for it with stress, anger, and resentment which leads to unnecessary stress and anxiety. At least thats what it lead to for me and now things are a lot better after over a decade of internal struggle.

(30 Jan '12, 23:40) Cory
showing 2 of 4 show 2 more comments

Well, seeing that this question sprung from a post of mine, I suppose I could as well explain myself :)

I am slightly ashamed to say that I feel a certain satisfaction when I am right... :S I don't enter into any argument if I don't know for sure I am right, and when the other person admits it, then, and only then, I Feel Good! I always keep quiet when I cannot win an argument. I suppose it's an Ego thing? It doesn't make me feel proud, mind you! I am working in that aspect of my character through affirmations and meditation.

I could do with some advice. :)


answered 17 Jun '10, 13:09

BridgetJones09's gravatar image


The seing of the action of ego in yourself is the beginning of the ending of it. Just observing that part of you, the orchestrator, over achiever, under achiever and controller of the many fragments that make up the ego-self, naturally frees you from its actions. My advice is to inquire into the mechanics of ego, through people who've made it their life's work to understand it and who've passed on that knowledge to us. J. Krishnamurti, Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra are the people I know of. The first step is the only step. Cheers :-)

(18 Jun '10, 05:12) Eddie

Thank you, Eddie! I'll sure look for those writers. :)

(18 Jun '10, 11:26) BridgetJones09

Your answer right now is far more powerful than the "right" or "wrong" issue. It is an example to all of us on how to be honest with yourself (self honesty). Being honest this way makes the right or wrong issue irrelevant. Right or wrong is a polarity phenomenon designed to allow you to see what you are choosing to ignore about yourself.

(01 Jul '10, 14:45) The Traveller
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments

Being right and feeling good are not mutually exclusive.

If someone feels good because they exacted revenge on someone else, I don't call that being right. But if my moral compass steers me towards an action that makes my life better without hurting someone else, or it improves someone else's life in a tangible way, I call that being correct (or at least as right as I can be). And I can feel good about that.

The pursuit of life is all about living your life better today than you did yesterday, about improvement. The notion of improvement implies that, if there are not right and wrong ways to do things, at least there are degrees of effectiveness, and that you can choose between good things today, and better things tomorrow.

What you call being right is really just someone else's moral indignation.


answered 17 Jun '10, 20:35

Vesuvius's gravatar image


edited 17 Jun '10, 20:42

This reminds me of something I heard Wayne Dyer say a few years ago: "Try this on: Say to yourself, I want to feel good."

How very odd that something that you'd think that everyone thinks, believes, etc. would require affirmation. When I heard it, though, I was down. Really down. At the moment I heard it, I did not want to say it.

I gave up trying to understand why I didn't want to say it and just started saying it. No other single thing has made such a consistently powerful difference in my life.

I want to feel good.


answered 20 Jun '10, 17:13

bradmoreso's gravatar image



Personally, if "feeling good" has the potential of leading me towards error and evil, I would prefer "being right". In that case, at least I would have some confidence that I was headed towards truth and goodness instead of error and evil.

Thankfully, from a Biblical perspective, the Scriptures make it clear that it is NOT about man "being right". If it were about man "being right", I would NOT have a great track record! Therefore, the Bible says that it is ALL about GOD "being right". For this reason, you find verses such as:

'Yea, let GOD be true, but every man a liar' [Romans 3:4]

'GOD is not a man, that He should lie' [Numbers 23:19]

'GOD is light, and in Him is no darkness at all' [I John 1:5]

I am tremendously grateful to GOD for having preserved His Words in a BOOK for me to consult before making any personal decisions. Obviously, if you have another belief system, you will not be in agreement with these statements.

I also agree with BridgetJones09. When I am not sure of something, I also would rather keep my mouth shut and do my own personal research before making a declaration. I get into less trouble that way!

Thanks for reading.

Concerned Citizen


answered 17 Jun '10, 18:42

Concerned%20Citizen's gravatar image

Concerned Citizen


CC, thanks for your answer. I've found through reading your postings up to now that there is not much in them that I can honestly agree with :) However, I find your knowledge of the Bible to be impressive to say the least. And it's always nice to meet in an expert in their subject area. And paradoxically, I think it also helps those who visit this website to have some completely opposite viewpoints expressed and, for that, I am grateful for your participation. Welcome to Inward Quest!

(17 Jun '10, 20:36) Stingray

Hello, Stingray... My goal is just to share Biblical information with others. I thank you for the opportunity to do this in your questions. We will be at opposite ends most of the time. However, I agree that sharing a variety of information will provide a site visitor with more options to explore for themselves. In the end, a person is responsible for his own decisions concerning his spirituality. I appreciate that the information exchanges are carried out in a thoughtful and friendly manner. Thanks for your warm welcome! P.S. I am far from a Biblical expert, but thanks anyway!

(17 Jun '10, 22:09) Concerned Citizen

People want to be right because being right makes them happy. Show me one person who becomes sad by being right. Often the choices are not (or don't appear to be) mutually exclusive.

I have realised this recently in a work situation - which is still evolving - where I work with someone who is really teaching me how to go with the flow. This person does everything in a way that is exactly opposite my style. I try not to get personally and emotionally involved - and I am still learning. I see a lot of people suffer for the actions of one person.

I know that if I got involved, I could make the physical situation a lot better for everyone at any moment, but then I'd have to pay a high price - my mental peace to start with. I'd be joyful in one aspect that I have made people's lives better, but I'd have much bigger problem because of all the fights and arguments I'd have with the established order. And who knows what's "better" anyway? Maybe the people who are stressed out because of the situation are meant to die young of heart attacks and strokes. Who am I to get in the way?

So nowadays, when I see other people suffer as a result of this person's action, I say to myself "Well, these are tests for them and they have to deal with these for themselves. It's not my job to solve the world's problems". And then mentally I walk away. Not 100% happy, but happier than what any other action would make me.

If on the other hand my mental composition were such that I thrived on confrontation, then I'd have waged a war without a blink of an eyelid.

So coming back to the original point, "happy or right" is not the correct choice. Do whatever makes you feel the least bad. If being right makes you feel good, go for it. Who is to say that's not the right path for you?


answered 21 May '15, 06:50

cod2's gravatar image


edited 21 May '15, 14:22

to solve only the outside problem is only a temporary fix to solve the inner cause of the outside problem is to fix it for good but each have free will and some do not want to see the problem so even less try to fix it , it is their choice respect it as they should respect your and you are right it is not your job to solve the world's problems". help your self and those that you can help because they make the choice to help them self.

(21 May '15, 19:54) white tiger
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Asked: 17 Jun '10, 06:54

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Last updated: 21 May '15, 19:56

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