"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Giving Up the Need to Be Right

I can just imagine your annoyance as you ask: Did you say giving up the need to be right? So, in other words, you’re saying that when I am right, I should not insist on being right? I should not bother making sure the other person knows exactly how right I am? Or I should forget about proving my point when we don’t see eye to eye?

What Happens When You Give Up the Need to Be Right?


Here’s the deal: when you give up the need to be right, many things change:


  • It’s impossible to argue with you
  • You can keep your cool no matter what
  • Others come to realize that you know that your opinion is not more important than theirs. That goes a long way to improving communication
  • Your ego is no longer invested in proving anything to the other person
  • You feel great no matter what the other person decides to believe
  • You don’t need to convince anyone of anything
  • You can keep your belief about whatever it is you are right about, but you don’t need to be bothered about proving it to the other person
  • No more power struggles
  • You give up the need to control others’ behavior, thoughts, actions and reactions
  • In a nutshell, your life becomes a lot easier – just like that!
Obviously I’m not talking about things that are easily checked, such as the capital of a country, or the metric equivalent of one yard. I’m talking about opinions, ideas, ideologies, religions, philosophies, ways of living one’s life, in other words, all those ephemeral, evanescent things that populate our lives, our thinking and feeling, and yet that have no true right or wrong.


So what’s the point of it?


Being Right & Letting Love Be the Final Determinant


Imagine you are the parent of a teenager who is pushing your buttons. Clearly, you have to show your child how wrong he/she is and how right you are; clearly you have to show your child – if necessary by anger – that he/she must change because they are wrong and you are right … or do you? What would happen if you let go of the need to be right, and you kept your eye instead on the love between the two of you? Keeping your eyes on the love instead of on the need to be right will promote the health of the relationship much more than proving you are right would, but much more than that, by keeping your eye on the love (even if it’s the partially buried love, or the forgotten love, or hidden love), you will be showing your child so many things:


  • That love is more important than being right
  • That when love is given priority, other things become less important
  • If you show your child at each and every step of the way that you will choose love before the need to prove how right you are, your relationship will improve
  • At the beginning of such a process, you might say to your teen: I know you think what you are saying is right, and I know that normally I react like this (whatever ‘this’ is), but I’ve decided that I love you too much to continue doing this, and so I just want you to know that I love you, and that I am determined not to fight with you anymore. Our relationship is too important to me. Such words will not cure your relationship like magic, but it will certainly begin the process of change.
  • What is also of supreme importance here is that you begin to look at your relationship with your child (even an adult child) as an indicator about you, rather than an indicator about him or her. So instead of thinking it’s all their fault, and if only they would change, all would be well, think instead, what can I do to change my way of dealing with this situation? Ask yourself how you can look at the difficulty from the point of view of your attitude in each problematic situation (see also Claiming Responsibility For the Self). So I am not saying that your child should be allowed to be rude, take drugs, or attempt to take over the household with his whims, but I am saying that when any of the things happen that tend to happen, and that make life so miserable, you could stand back, assess the situation instead of reacting to your buttons having been pushed, and begin to choose how to react, from a position of love and compassion, and from a place where you have decided in advance that you will not fight over who is right or wrong, but that you will do your utmost to promote understanding, trust, and love. (See also The Absolutely Best Way of Helping Your Children Grow Into Excellent Adults).
And if you’re the teen, battling with a parent over who is right, take the same message to heart … if your parent is not reacting as I have indicated above (and you can imagine that most do not react that way, because they never learned about this – they might never even have learned about the idea of standing back and looking at the self), then you can be the one to do so, if you are willing to give up the need to be right. And if you are willing to let love be more important than proving you are right…


On another note, we might imagine you are the husband or wife, or life partner embroiled in a bitter battle with your partner about some issue or many issues. Apply the same principles as indicated above.
And in all instances, please do remember that healthy boundaries are important, and that putting love first never means you should let anyone walk all over you, or mistreat you, and to refresh your memory, you may wish to read Do Your Relationship Boundaries Contribute to Your Well-Being?


You Can Still Be Right!!!

However, giving up the need to be right does not mean - by any stretch of the imagination - that you have to accept what the other person takes to be right as yours. In other words, just because you are ok with not proving to others that you are right, or with not bending them to your will (see also Controlling Ourselves, Our Lives, and the People in Them), you continue to know that you are right. And you allow others to continue in their own belief. And whatever is right for you, is something that you adhere to. So I am not advocating that you go over to another’s belief.
Let’s take another example: you vote Democrat and the other party votes Republican (or whatever opposing parties your country has). If you decide you need to convince the other person of how wrong they are and how right you are, you will probably never see eye to eye and you may even need to end the relationship. If, however, you can allow them their belief in the rightness of their convictions and how they vote, and you maintain your own belief, all can be well. But let’s say you decide on that path and the other person wants to prove to you how wrong you are … do you understand how impossible it will be for them to argue with you if you refuse to engage?
Ask yourself this: exactly why is it so important to convince the other person that you are right?

What will change? Because you do realize that if they feel just as you do, and believe that it is crucial to convince you of how right they are, you are at an impossible impasse, unless one of you is stronger than the other. If you are the parent, or the boss, or the one with the money, or the one who manipulates better, or the one who needs the other one less emotionally (see also Emotional Unavailability: An Introduction), then of course you will probably win.

But here’s what will happen next: you will have a lot of resentment on your hands which will, eventually, explode. That’s how revolutions and coup d’états come about, not to mention acrimonious divorces and bad relationships between parents and children. Resentment from having to give in to a stronger party can be poisonous.


What can you do if you are married to someone who wants to do things a given way and you do not? Do you get divorced? Do you give in? Or do you find a win-win solution where each party may need to give up part of what they believed in, in exchange for a solution that works for both? This is only possible if both parties are willing to give up the need to be right about their way of doing it, and agree that there could be a third way, one that gives each of the partners a degree of satisfaction. And by the way, this is never ‘not’ possible.


Here’s another thing: once you give up the need to be right, you start listening to what others have to say … really listening, instead of impatiently waiting for them to stop talking, so that you can have your turn (to talk about all the things you are thinking about while they are talking). And not only do you start listening, you start to become interested in what they are saying even if you don’t think it’s right, because by giving up the need to be right, you begin to see others in a new light, a light of generosity, non-judgement and non-criticism. That space, where you can accept them as they are as opposed to wanting them to be your way, is a sacred space because it’s one of the steps that leads you towards the understanding that we are all one and therein lies another kind of freedom, not only on the individual level, but also on the global one.

For much more about relationships, living consciously, about being aware of your thoughts and feelings, how you react to others and how you love yourself, as well as about choosing to seek your inner well-being above all, in order that you may have a ripple effect on all those who come in contact with you, have a look at my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available at Amazon as a paperback or e-book for Kindle and all Kindle applications.

Click here to download the first chapter.

Reviews From the Back Cover:

A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom & joy but illuminates the way to true human potential. Dr. Kortsch is a spiritual master for our time. Paul Rademacher, Executive Director, The Monroe Institute; author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, Director, Center for Sacred Theatre, Ashland, Oregon; author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"The instruction manual on rewiring the soul. An in-depth guide on life, love, spiritual evolution & our integration within the universe." Michael Habernig & April Hannah; Producers: The Path- The Afterlife & The Path 11 Documentaries

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world & practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd; Founder Trans4mind.com; author: Daring To Be Yourself

"The human being's directory to the soul. A breakthrough for those seeking practical assistance, those of a more mystical bent & every soul awaiting discovery." Toni Petrinovich, Ph.D.; author: The Call: Awakening the Angelic Human

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