Being Right Vs Doing Right: A Shift In Focus To Create A Better Outcome

Today we are going to be talking about one of my quotes and it is, “Don’t be so focused on being right that you forget to do what is right.”

I find that this happens to people in their relationships with their partners, in their divorces and with their children.  They get caught up in competition or the adversarial process. They forget that they still have to live with the outcomes of these arguments or situations. The drive to win can back them into a corner where they feel like they have to fight. It becomes this tooth or nail thing.

If you are in a situation like this with a spouse or in your divorce or when your parenting your children. Where you feel like your back is up against the wall.  And you find yourself saying things like, “I want to win.” Or you feel like you want to beat them, or your going to show them what’s going to happen.

Then you should ask yourself, what is the potential outcome of your position in this argument?

And is that outcome going to ensure that you, your partner or your children are happy, healthy and successful? Is being right in your point and your position, is winning that going to create those things?  Is your position helping you?  Is drawing your line in the sand going to help you create the life that you want?

If the answer to those questions is “no”, it isn’t going to do those things… Sometimes its hard to hear that answer because you really don’t want to hear it… But if the answer to those is no, then you should take the time to one, take a deep breath. Because you can get so tense like, “arrrhhh I get so angry,” with what they are doing. So take a deep breath.

If you need to, walk away or remove yourself from the discussion, and then shift your focus.

If your focus is on winning, making them pay or being right, then shift it.  Say to yourself, “How can I address this situation so that it’s beneficial to me and everybody involved? Can I give a little bit of ground on this? Or could I ask someone else for help?” Instead of just standing firm in it and hoping that everything goes well.

Keep your focus off blame and being right or wrong. 

Keep your focus on doing what is right and what will help everybody. Or if not everyone then at the very least you or your children. Focus on doing what you need to be happy, healthy and successful in what you are trying to do. That will change the struggle and that feeling like your always fighting and your always in the thick of it.

A shift in focus will help transform the struggle into a positive situation for yourself and your children. 

And sometimes that might not mean that you give ground. Sometimes it will mean that you still hold your ground because what you are doing is what’s right. Or what you feel is right for your children or for yourself and it will help you achieve your goals.

But just be prepared that sometimes your going to be wrong… I know it’s a shocker… You’re going to be wrong and thats okay. It’s okay to acknowledge that you may have been wrong and to change your course.

Have you ever found yourself getting tense and frustrated during discussions and realized that you were holding your breath?  How did you defuse the tension inside yourself?  Let me know in the comments down below.

Would you like help to decrease conflict and get yourself out of the adversarial process described above in your relationships? If so, take advantage of my complimentary Chaos to Calm power sessions. 

NOTE: Transcripts may have been edited for clarity. This blog post is a transcript/readable version of the interview. It is not an admissible testimony nor is it intended to provide legal or psychological advice.  

DISCLAIMER:  This or any advice given by Heather Debreceni is not meant to replace or superseded the advice of your attorney or the acting family therapist involved in your case and does not constitute legal or psychological counseling.

About The Author

Heather Debreceni

In 2004, after getting a job in Law Enforcement, Heather left her husband and started the divorce process. Like many mothers in her situation, she naively thought that getting divorced would be the end of the chaos that her failing marriage had created in her and her children’s lives. She now uses her divorce experience to create strategic divorce coaching programs which help mothers turn the chaos of divorce into confident, calm and respect filled lives. Heather is the Founder and Host of the Empowered Divorce Summit which empowers individuals as they navigate through the divorce process. Now a podcast, it provides listeners with access to insightful interviews with experts on divorce, relationships and parenting. She is also an Ordained Non-Denomination Christian Reverend as well as a student of the Buddhist & First Nationals faith and spirituality. Heather supports her clients as they walk through the spiritual rebirth that occurs for many women after divorce. Heather also tours around the country with her family giving talks about Divorce, Ethics, Parenting, Personal Responsibility, Spirituality and Women's Empowerment as well as teaching about Leadership, Business and Entrepreneurship.

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