Most of us need to feel that we are right about things in our lives. There’s people in this world who believe their right about just about anything. I have one of those friends. She can’t concede to anything because she has to argue that it’s always her way. She jokes and says it’s a joke but she forgets that it doesn’t always feel like she’s joking. Just listening to her logic sometimes make me wonder if I even know things at all because she makes you second guess what you thought you knew all along. Do you know anyone like this in your life?
It’s not a bad thing to be right a lot. However, it can be an irritant for those around you when those you care for have to be right and no one else can be right either. Granted, it isn’t your problem with how someone else feels. It does become an issue when the people that we treat like idiots start to withdraw from friendships because they are looked at like they don’t know anything.
I can’t tell you how many employers I’ve had that had to prove they were right by making employees look like they didn’t know anything. I’ve worked in non-profit sectors, for-profit sectors and in both worlds, upper management has to be right virtually all the time. It doesn’t matter that those who actually work the jobs have knowledge that corporate offices could learn from. Instead, there is a huge push on delegation and while it’s a smart move in some management aspects, there are many times where the employees truly know more than the management as to the day to day operations.
So what do you do in those situations? Sometimes there isn’t much you can do but let the situations play out. There are other times that you can. But you better have all the information together that can prove you are the reason behind the success and even then you could be placing yourself in job jeopardy. Feel out the situation before you come forward with complaints. You don’t want to do anything that will cause you problems down the road. If you have to be a know it all, then just remember it may come back to bite you.
I once had a supervisor who informed me that “No one likes a know it all.” I have had to remember that a lot over the years and in some instances it’s served me well but in others, it caused me problems in the workplace. I used to try to speak up for myself and I got penalized when I did. It took me years to get the confidence back in myself to recognize that I was capable of doing anything I set my mind to.
I’m not qualified to give advice as to how to handle people who have to be right all the time. What I can do is direct you to research from specialists who know how to best interact with know it alls.
I can caution those who think they know everything to understand they are putting friendships in jeapordy when they have to rub in the fact they are always right. When a person hears “I told you so”, it doesn’t make the recipient feel any better. It might be validation for the person who feels the need to rub it in their face but all it does is cause more hurt and conflict.
Like many of you, I’m not dumb, illiterate, stupid, or even a moron. But when my friend rubs things in my face how she’s right about things so often, it makes me feel inferior. I may not have the same knowledge that she does, nor have the same things in my life than she does. What I do have is the understanding that I’m smart, I make a ton of mistakes, and I have the ability to do so much. I rarely hear compliments out of her and yet I’m one of the first to try to lift her up.
After a heated exchange on social media, I got a taste of how she has to be right all the time. Even after she drove her point home, her family kept driving in the nail. It didn’t help that someone I care for a lot also made a snippy comment towards me over a post I shared. I really didn’t need the attacks. The post wasn’t offensive. It was just stating a fact about certain people who are disloyal. There are times that I can make more out of the small stuff than is needed but my friends often forget that I hold a lot inside. When I feel attacked, it really makes me upset that others keep needling the point just to make them look good.
Why are we still friends? Because even with her issues, I still love her and care about her. She may not remember my birthday but she has been there when times have been tough. It doesn’t matter that I remember hers every year. She doesn’t confide in me nearly as much as I have her. That’s hurt a lot too over the years. There have been multiple times that I honestly felt that we weren’t that close anymore but I didn’t want to deal with that. She may have to get the last word in but she makes me laugh when I need it. Even though she may never admit my strengths, that’s ok. Because in the end, I know that I am right about the fact that it’s okay to be different. It’s even accepted that we don’t have to be perfect. But I sure wish that she’d learn to be a little more respectful. Even if she can’t, I don’t have to let her make me feel like I don’t matter. If you have someone in your life that is doing what she’s doing, let them know how it makes you feel. You won’t change them. But at least you will be able to look yourself in the mirror and say that you are right for standing up for yourself. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. So let those who have to be right all the time be right. Because it’s only through those acts that you can also be right even if they never admit it.
I’ve heard several people say that friendships run their course and I don’t want this friendship to end. But at the same token, I don’t want to feel that I’m not important to her either. We all need to feel some validation in our lives. I guess time will tell what happens next.
I think one of the best statements I’ve seen about this is from Lia Garvin who wrote a blog on When Proving Someone Wrong makes you Wrong. She states, “None of this is to say you can’t be right, it is all about tact, and how you can open yourself up to come to an agreement. Being the bigger person isn’t about conceding or caving, and it is not about insisting “you are the bigger person.” With all communication, it is a balance, and with this approach, you will often find that difficult agreements and conversations are solved a lot more easily than you expected.” When I found that paragraph I thought, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Because in the end, that person will always perceive themselves as being right. Even if they are prophetically wrong.