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When Being Right is a Curse

Sometimes the right thing to do when we know we are right, is to stay quiet - if it is not an issue of Integrity.


“Well I was right!” is the refrain of many intelligent yet lonely people. This is a phenomena that plays itself out in the work place and in personal lives. For some of us, we don’t just like to be right.  We need to right.  We need to correct something that is wrong.  It doesn’t need to be a major injustice, slander or lie. Those are things that we should always do our best to correct.  Those moments are a challenge to our Integrity - doing what is good, right and proper, even at personal cost.


Unfortunately, the need to be right becomes a curse for people because they are unable to control their urges.  There is that pressure that builds up when someone uses a word incorrectly, or doesn’t capitalize a day of the week in a sentence.  It happens when a spouse is telling a story, and the other spouse feels compelled to correct a minor detail. It happens when I child is excited about a good grade on a paper, and the parent points out a missed comma. It happens when someone has to pull out their phone to verify a minor piece of information, and then tell everyone what they found, even though the conversation has already moved on.


For some of us who are very detailed oriented, this is truly a struggle. When someone else misses or accidentally misrepresents something minor, everything in our being could be telling us to say something - to correct it.  But many times, the more mature thing is to just let it go.


None of these moments are an issue of Integrity for us.  In fact they test other parts of our character.  They test our Humility, our Selflessness, and our Positivity.


Humility:  Believing and acting like “it’s not about me.”

Selflessness:  Putting the needs of others before my own needs, desires, or convenience.

Positivity:  Displaying a positive or “can do” attitude in all circumstances.


Sometimes the right thing to do when we know we are right, is to stay quiet - if it is not an issue of Integrity. Staying quiet in those moments may be a test.  It will test our Humility because we put aside our own urge to correct something for the good of someone else. Our Selflessness is tested because we put their telling of the story before our own need to correct a minor detail.  And we exercising Positivity because we don’t deflate the other person by exposing their lack of attention to the details.


I want to be sure nobody thinks I am advocating for sloppy work or fudging on the truth.  If you have read any of our books or blogs over the last decade, you know that is not the point.  The bottom line is that sometimes it is okay to let someone else be wrong. It is okay for the story to be mostly accurate.  It is okay and probably wise to stay quiet in those moments.  Evaluate their motives. If they are being purposefully deceitful, then you need to act.  But, if it is a minor detail, with no intent to deceive, and correction will not truly change the outcome, then let it go.


The need for accuracy and your attention to detail is a gift in so many important situations.  But it can be a curse in a lot of other situations. When we exercise the Humility, the Selflessness, and the Positivity to stay silent at those moments we are exercising our character.  And, we are giving others a gift as well. 



●      How do you feel when someone corrects a minor/unimportant part of your stories?

●      How often do you do that to others?


Here is a quick assessment that will take you 5 minutes to figure it out. Nobody will ever see your results but you.


Warning: If you are not going to be honest with yourself this is a worthless assessment.

To take the assessment use the QR code above or go to

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