We all know this one person who can't stand to be wrong. How we deal with someone who is always right...or seems to think they are, greatly impacts our relationship with that person and our own peace of mind.

Dealing With Someone Who Is Always Right

We all know this one person who can’t stand to be wrong. They’ll go out of their way to prove they’re right even with things they know nothing about. Being around someone who’s always right can be exhausting and frustrating! Having a conversation, making plans and simply getting stuff done are all weighed down by the other person’s need to argue, to always be right.

Dealing with someone who is always right can feel disempowering. Because if we believe they are right, then we automatically must be wrong. One person will always appear to be “on top” in the relationship rather than honoring equality. It may even feel like who you are, what you think, and what you want are being “blocked” by that person’s unrelenting singular point of view. That feeling may make you want to give up on the relationship entirely. And I get it!

How we deal with someone who is always right…or seems to think they are, greatly impacts our relationship with that person and our own peace of mind. It’s important that we learn to be proactive in a relationship like this rather than reactive. When you react, you give away your power. When you respond, you empower yourself. Empowerment is how you deal with someone who is always right.

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Here are the self-empowerment tools you can use to communicate and interact with someone who is hell-bent on proving how right they are…all the time.

Stay Calm and Cool

People who love to be right also have a tendency to enjoy seeing other people squirm and fume. Your anger and frustration may be rocket fuel for the trajectory of their argument. So when you feel your temperature rising toward an argument, take a deep breath. Excuse yourself if possible, take a deep breath, and remind yourself how you want to deal with this person. The trick is to diffuse their righteous rant, not add fuel to the fire.

Recognize What’s Really Going On

Being right is a paradox. People who are “always right” seem to have such confidence and assuredness. But understand now that righteousness is usually held by someone who isn’t certain. You see, we only defend the things in our life that we fear are at risk. We defend weakness and ignorance.

If one is empowered, strong in their beliefs about who they are and why they are here, they don’t need to defend that. Ask yourself what the need to be right means to that person and also what it means to you if you insist on proving them wrong. This is good information to help you interact less reactively and to see that our mutual needs to be right are related to our needs to be accepted and affirmed.

Understand the Scope of Right and Wrong

There are infinite answers and multiple ways of being right. One person’s “right” is not necessarily a Universal “rightness.” Many people claim to be right about something that is merely an opinion. Learn to separate these two. Even if someone can prove they are right about something that doesn’t mean it has to be “right” for you.

One person might believe it is “right” to go to college if you want to succeed, but there are a lot of people who become hugely successful with barely a high school diploma. What is “right,” is almost always subjective (based on experience, not fact). Two people with opposing perspectives can both be right. If you learn to allow both points of view to exist at the same time, it’s a super empowering position.

Why Does it Matter?

One of the most important tools in dealing with someone who’s always right is to ask yourself why it matters to you. Are the issues being discussed and defended worth your time and effort? Sometimes they are, but more often than not, they aren’t. If it’s an acquaintance, friend, or co-worker, it’s possible that you could simply let that person have their right-ness. What does it matter in the long run?

If possible, disengage and walk away from the conversation. Once you become someone who doesn’t care, they’ll likely stop trying to prove their supreme intelligence as often. If the person who needs to be right is your spouse or significant other, then determining what issues matter and which you can let go of, is a more difficult endeavor, though not impossible. Sometimes letting go of the little things will give you the strength and clarity to engage with the more important issues.

Dealing with an Imbalanced Relationship

Intimate relationships that revolve around one person being right all the time are usually very challenging because it’s based on a hierarchy and not equality. If one person is always right then the other person must be proven wrong which constantly puts them at a disadvantage in decision-making. With imbalanced relationships, we learn to avoid the interactions that cause disagreement. This distancing technique can divide a loveship over time, so it’s important that you learn to talk about what underlies the “need to be right.”

If you’re never allowed to be right and are constantly defending yourself, you may be a victim of manipulation. This is a more complex situation requiring a different response. 

Appeal to Their Higher Self

This can work in a situation where both people care about each other, and about keeping the relationship alive. If this is your situation, explain to your partner how their insistence on always being right is shutting you out of participating in the relationship as an equal. Whether or not this has any impact on the person will largely depend on how they perceive the request. They very well may think they are being “called out” and that you are saying their behavior is wrong.

Even if you focus solely on how you feel, they may still perceive it as an attack. If that’s the case, there’s very little you can do to fix the problem. But, on the other hand, they might listen and allow your point of view to be heard and validated more often. Anyone who insists on always being right has deeper insecurity issues that prevent them from having empathy for others. Their need to be right and defend their views will continue to dominate their relationships until they seek help.

Stay Away From Heated Topics

Do we have to talk about it? Maybe there are just certain topics that we can avoid. For example, not everyone in my family shares the same political orientation and this past year some pretty heated conversations began to make me feel uncomfortable in family situations…that is until I learned to steer clear of topics where I felt attacked for my point of view. I didn’t want to avoid family gatherings altogether, but I felt like it was best not to talk about certain things with certain people. And so I learned to come to family gatherings with a list of “safe” topics like asking others how their jobs were going. Not everyone can talk about important issues without throwing fireballs, so don’t intentionally put one in their hands.

Don’t Fight About It

Stop thinking it’s possible to prove someone who wants to be right, wrong. The more you try to convince them or show them that they are not right, the more tightly they cling to their position. It’s as if they exist on a life raft of their ideas, values, and beliefs, and you are rocking that boat. They will do anything and everything to keep it afloat. Because their being right is attached to their ego and identity, their “life” literally depends on it. A battle of wills over right and wrong is not a productive use of anyone’s energy, especially yours!

Keep Your Distance

If someone drives you crazy with their need to always be right, and you’ve tried telling them how their bulldozing behavior makes you feel, but still they continue, you may consider spending less time with them or avoiding them altogether. If it’s someone you must work with and you can’t avoid communicating with them, try to consistently steer conversations back to essential work needs only. Take notice if there are certain situations, like in large groups, or one on one, where that person is especially obnoxious and try to avoid talking business in those settings. Attempt to get more tasks accomplished via work email where the emotions of a heated argument are less likely to be present.

Develop Your Own Sense of Security

Part of your need to deal with someone who’s always right is based on your own insecurities. Their ability to push your buttons with their righteousness is related to your fears and inhibitions. When we aren’t fully empowered, we struggle for any sense of validation. So it hurts to be proven wrong. When we’re secure in who we are and why we’re here, we don’t need to defend that to anyone. When we’re making our own decisions based on what’s right for us, we don’t need to defend those either.

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People who are secure in themselves can allow other people their own opinions, thoughts, and beliefs without feeling threatened by them. With self-awareness and practice, we can allow others to be who they are, just as we want the right to be ourselves. Becoming self-aware won’t stop others from insisting they are right, it just won’t bother you like it used to.

Tell me, do you have this person in your life? How do you deal with them?

 

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Image by Анастасия Гепп from Pixabay

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Comments

  1. Tell me, do you have this person in your life? How do you deal with them?

  2. Anonymous

    I honestly don’t know and im at that point where I fill like space isn’t the answer

  3. HI Anonymous, I, of course, don’t know the details of your circumstances, and the article gives advice across a spectrum of experiences. I could write a book about this one thing! But my attempt here was to try to give some simple tools – the most important of which is to bring the focus of care back to yourself. This line is probably the most important one of the whole article: “our mutual needs to be right are related to our needs to be accepted and affirmed.” Consider this: Is it possible for you to accept yourself, your thoughts, ideas and emotions, to validate them without that other person’s point of view? You can always reach out to me at Tracy@soulsetinmotion.com if you want to share more details 🙂

  4. Anonymous

    I have a long-standing friendship that on one level has not felt empowering. This friend is also a dance/yoga teacher. We became friends years ago, since I was taking her classes (and still do attend some of them). One of her main teachings is self-empowerment and her perspective is an energetic lens; everything is energy. She has helped me to a large degree. However, she tends to be quite righteous during conversations. We have deep, spiritual/metaphysical, meaningful discussions. However, it feels to me that she FREQUENTLY corrects me, dismisses my contributions, and is righteous in her points. Granted, these teachings about energy and spirituality are her life-long quest. I get it. She is incredibly knowledgeable, and I have been grateful for her friendship and mentoring. I would just appreciate being more acknowledged and appreciated for my own contributions in our one-on-one and group discussions in order for a more equal, less hierarchical dynamic. In the past, when I have brought it up, she would not take any responsibility for it. Maybe I need to readdress it with more clarity. She and I also both believe we are creating our own realities. If I were more secure, confident, this relationship would look quite different or possibly would not exist.

  5. Hi Anonymous,
    I get what you are saying. We all want to feel validated in our way of thinking and in our life experiences. We are all on a unique path and no one really has the answers for us. We can share ideas, but we must all figure things out for ourselves in the end, especially when it comes to our spiritual path. It sounds like you have looked up to this person in the past, but that the dynamic has changed for you over time. What is it that you really want from this relationship now, at this point in time?

  6. Anonymous

    Thank you! You have posed the exact question that needs answering. It is time to dive into some deep exploration in order to provide myself more clarity.🙏🏽

  7. ANonymous with the pink avatar, If you want to explore with the help of a life coach, I’m sure I can help you find some answers sooner rather than later. Let me know.

  8. Des

    I’m in a relationship with a girl that always wants to be right/ heard. I don’t think I’m insecure I think I’m just annoyed. I don’t feel the need to comment on every single thing. Is it possible for the relationship to work?

  9. Gosh Des, I think I know what you mean. Do your conversations feel a little one-sided? As if your perspective might not be valued or honored? Is that what you’re talking about?

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