Have you ever found yourself in a heated argument with your spouse or loved one, both passionately exclaiming, “I’m right!”? If you have, you’re not alone. However, did you know that your need to be right damages your relationships, and creates loneliness with the people you love, especially your spouse? There is a hidden cost to being right.
The Pleasure of Being Right
Let’s be honest, there’s a certain thrill in being right. When you win an argument or prove a point, you get a momentary rush of satisfaction. It feels good, doesn’t it? But here’s the kicker – that momentary satisfaction often comes at a long-term cost: loneliness.
There is a hidden cost to being right.
Why We Love Being Right
So, why do we love being right so much? It all comes down to something we call confirmation bias. Think of it as your brain’s natural tendency to seek out information that supports your pre-existing beliefs. It’s like having a mental filter that screens out anything that doesn’t align with what you already think you know.
This is how confirmation bias works: Every day, we’re bombarded with an overwhelming amount of information. Our brains can’t possibly process it all, so it takes shortcuts. Confirmation bias is one of those shortcuts. It helps us make quick decisions about potentially life-threatening situations – like when we need to determine if a tiger wants to eat us or if a speeding car is dangerous.
In these split-second moments, questioning whether the tiger is seeing us as food or if the speeding car is going to hit us isn’t a luxury we can afford. Our confirmation bias steps in and eliminates what it doesn’t consider immediately relevant to our survival.
The Dark Side of Confirmation Bias
While confirmation bias serves a critical purpose in keeping us alive physically, it can have detrimental effects on our relationships. Here’s where it gets tricky:
Your confirmation bias is actively listening to your interactions with your spouse or partner. If you grew up with a controlling mother or an angry father, your confirmation bias selectively feeds you information that aligns with your pre-existing beliefs – such as “women are controlling” or “anger is bad.”
As a result, you end up reliving the emotional traumas of your past in your present-day relationships. It’s like a vicious cycle, and both parties suffer from this unconscious process.
The Turning Point: Shifting Beliefs
Now, here’s the silver lining: You can change what your confirmation bias is listening for by shifting your beliefs.
Take my personal experience, for example. My husband and I used to be caught in a destructive pattern. He accused me of being controlling, and I constantly tip-toed around his anger. But it wasn’t about denying that there might be some truth in those accusations. It was about recognizing that our confirmation bias was reinforcing our past suffering in our relationship.
When I changed my belief from “anger is bad” to “anger is a gift that helps us understand what feels unjust,” everything shifted. Instead of avoiding my husband’s anger, I started asking questions. This simple change opened up a channel of communication that had long been obstructed. As my husband felt heard, his anger began to subside, and conversations became easier.
Embracing New Possibilities
The transformation we had was powerful: Being right wasn’t worth feeling lonely. We started paying closer attention to what our confirmation bias was telling us and began questioning our limiting beliefs. As we did, we discovered that many of these beliefs were holding us back and limiting our potential for growth.
As we shifted to beliefs that were more open-minded and conducive to connection, our relationships became remarkably richer and more abundant. It was as if a door had opened to a world of endless possibilities.
So, here’s an invitation for you…
If you want more possibilities in your life and relationships, start noticing what your confirmation bias is tuned into. Is it leading you toward loneliness or connection? If it’s the former, it might be time to explore what might be more true than what you’re currently listening for.
If you want to hear me talk about this more, I invite you to join me today on my latest YouTube episode!
Do you love to be right too? Have you experienced the hidden cost of being right? What is a belief that you have that you realize is creating loneliness? Head over to the YouTube episode and I would love to hear from you in the comments!
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