What’s Wrong With Being Right?

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who comment on YouTube, and those who don’t.

YouTube is notorious for being a place for “comment wars” among individuals, which almost always seem to start with someone who just can’t give up being right about his opinion of something. This type of person will berate every person who goes against what he says, and won’t stop until he is able to prove a point.

Then, there is also that person who reads through the various comments but doesn’t actually take part in the thread or say anything, because commenting means having to take a stand… and that’s scary. For this person, it is so much better to sit quietly in the background than to be called out on being wrong and possibly even attracting “haters” in the process.

See, the problem with these kinds of people is that they have both attached a too-high value on being “right”. Both are afraid of being wrong. So afraid, in fact, that they don’t realize the following pitfalls:

I. Putting a premium on being “right” will breed insecurity. If “right” is our benchmark of value on ourselves, then it is automatic that being proven “wrong” is devaluing in our eyes. And that is just a stressful way to live. After all, no one will ever be correct about everything all the time; there is always a reason to fall short. If we attach our failings in this area to our personal sense of worth, we’ll be miserable.

II. Pursuing being “right” will stifle our ability to learn and grow. When we do not recognize our fallibility, we’re in huge trouble. Our growth as individuals largely depends on our ability to understand how flawed we are, and how we still have a long way to go; without this understanding, “Right-People” are prone to being stunted in their self-development, because they aren’t teachable. Because they’re always “right”.

III. To love being “right” puts us on a warpath against everyone else. This is because we always want to prove ourselves, to show how “right” we are. This often shows in the little tendencies to contradict someone else before we take the time to understand their point of view. Speaking before understanding dampens relationships, and is often a sign that we’re being “Right-People”.

Since we now know that being obsessed about being “Right-People” is not the way to live, should we be content with sitting in the sidelines and never taking a stand in fear of being labeled as such?

Probably not. Truth is, it was never about us anyway.

There’s a third kind of person in the world, the kind that seeks to learn more and more every day. He takes a stand because he knows his convictions, which were formed through years of listening and learning from those who know better. He is unafraid of other opinions and unthreatened by the possibility of being wrong. In fact, he seeks to be proven wrong, and looks for every opportunity to refine his beliefs.

But most of all, he never tries to prove himself because he knows that it was never about him. It’s about the topic at hand, the situation. It’s about engaging in true dialogue with others, being considerate of others’ position and being accepting of correction. That’s probably what it really means to be human anyway.

About the Contributor

Kathryn Cartera is a Brew Your Best Year editor. A writing enthusiast and a collector of created works, she likes late-night coffee runs and random vacations with inspiring people. She is also highly attracted to food. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the piano, learning everything, and discovering meaning in the simplest things.

See all of Kathryn Cartera's posts →

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