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Are You a Ms Or Mr Right? - A Need to Be Right

Audrey Marlene Klingeman

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Mr. Right

Are you a Ms. or Mr. Right, having a strong need to be right all the time? We all have that need but how strong is it? The need to take the credit quite often is a form of self-approval, a way of stroking the ego or compensating for some insecurity. It is not confined to any one culture, race or socio-economic status. It is something seen from the top down in every corner and cross-section of society. Because the insecurity is so strong that person has to try harder than normal to prove to him/herself that they are great or important by having to know they are right most of the time.

The person who feels that need most of the time is someone who needs to feel superior or empowered very frequently. By insisting on being right, they feel elevated above those who they can prove wrong. This individual will argue their point to the bitter end. They would lie, exaggerate, or do anything it takes to prove they are right. In the end, that person may feel superior but the impression left after they are gone is one of distaste and avoidance for that individual. Most people don't enjoy being around a know-it-all.

The underlying cause of the need to be right is fear. This is an deep-seated fear of being wrong and losing credibility or control. When someone disagrees, this individual feels threatened and goes on the defensive, trying desperately to maintain control so they can feel comfortably safe again.

Part of being a success is to recruit a network of people to learn from, to grow from, and to work with to achieve great things. Having the need to be right all the time turns people off and tunes them out. When you expect others to most often agree with your point of view, that is a symptom of having a strong need to be right over others. One must be open to other ideas and opinions in order to advance in life. Allowing others to take the credit creates a stronger network of people willing to cooperate and work alongside you.

Have you ever been told?

  • “why does it always have to be your way?"
  • “it's your way or the highway. "
  • “you're such a know-it-all. "
  • The Need To Be Right - What Does It Mean?

    The “need to be right" pattern of behavior is an accurate way to get a barometer reading of one's perception of themselves. You can size up someone very quickly when you see this kind of behavior. Having a Mr. Right attitude all the time means:

  • You believe you are superior to others.
  • You will miss out on opportunities to learn from other people's opinions.
  • You have to be right to feel important.
  • Your thinking is one-dimensional. You must work on being more open-minded.
  • You have a tendency to dominate a conversation, unable to converse properly, listening and having a normal back and forth dialog. You are only fixated on your opinion and cannot wait for the other person to finish speaking to counter their viewpoint. In some cases you may even interrupt the other person to interject what you need to say.
  • You have to prove you are right as a way of putting others down or criticizing them. It gives you a feeling of winning, which empowers you.
  • If you are wrong you feel flawed, inferior, or upset.
  • Your identity is dependent on your need to feel that you are right.
  • Maybe you or someone you know engages in this kind of behavior. This is not a healthy way to achieve your goals in life. It is a deterrent. You may have sensed resentment from others and not know why. Take a look inside and make the decision for change if you feel you fit into this pattern. Can you even admit to yourself that may be be suffering from the need to be right syndrome?

    Inflexible Thinking

    One way many people maintain their Mr. Right mentality is due to inflexibility in they way they think. When one is inflexible in the way they think, they:

  • Are unyielding in their opinions and beliefs and are unable to even listen to another point of view. The need to be right overpowers their thinking.
  • Feel threatened when someone disagrees with their opinion.
  • Become angry and make personal attacks in an effort to prove the other person wrong and to get them to agree to their point of view.
  • Become condescending and belittling.
  • Become extremely critical of others
  • The inflexible thinker lives life on the defensive, carrying a chip on their shoulder and an ego to back it up. Life becomes stressful and uncomfortable. Friends begin to alienate you. Coworkers try to minimize their contact with you. You are perceived as intolerable and difficult - having to walk on egg shells around you.

    In working to achieve your goals in life a degree of flexibility and open-mindedness is required. The ability to hear other people's opinions and examine them in order to see what can be learned gives one an opportunity to grow and excel on their success journey. You can feel more at ease with life and your environment when you are more willing to give up the need to be right attitude. Others will be more comfortable around you and want to be part of your team. You will win friends and influence more people this way. Happiness will soon follow.

    How flexible are you in your thinking? How often do allow others to share their opinions and learn something from them? Do you most often have to have things your way?

    Give Up the Mr. Right mentality!

    Giving up the need to be right all the time means you must improve your self-image. By working on improving your self-esteem and self-confidence, your insecurities will slowly disappear and your perception of you will undergo a transformation. As you self-image is transformed you will:

  • Choose to be a happier person. A happier person is a more considerate person. A more considerate person is open to what others have to say. An open mind enables you to learn and grow. A secure person can engage in a back and forth dialog, giving generous input but walking away feeling good even though someone disagrees with their opinions.
  • Be a better listener, making sure you understand what someone is saying before you disagree with them. Listening not just for your turn to speak but to genuinely hear what others have to say.
  • Know who you are. A confident, secure person is sure of him or herself. There are no doubts about where they fit in or having to prove a point to feel accepted. The matter of importance is the interaction with another and the opportunity to make a positive impact on someone's life. The need to be right attitude is nonexistent in people with a strong sense of self.
  • Be more willing to engage in a fair dialogue, waiting your turn to speak without feeling the need to dominate the conversation or interrupt when someone else is speaking.
  • Be unafraid to make mistakes, laughing at you when you do rather than feel inferior.
  • Be more humble. With humility, the ego is lost, which has a tendency to instigate the need to be right.
  • Give of your time in helping others. Acts of kindness allows us to build strong character. It teaches us how to put others first while feeling the joy of taking that step. It teaches citizenship, compassion, fairness and many characteristics that can help to remove the high need to be right attitude.
  • Take a step forward today and begin to make the transformation to achieving your optimum by curbing


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