Sunday, February 5, 2012

Do You Want to be Right or Do You Want to be Happy?

I can't take credit for that phrase, have heard it for years in the arena of couple's counseling.  But I have been thinking about it a lot lately.  It has so many applications in our lives and, I think, many times we fail to consider its implications.

It is the same basic principle as "don't sweat the small stuff" when it comes to being in a relationship.  Those that we are in a relationship with do things that annoy, mystify and infuriate us.  We need to learn to separate out the annoying from the infuriating and need to know when to leave the mystifying as a mystery.  We are not always going to understand the other person.  We do not have to always like what they do.  We may disagree on occasion, but if we point out every mistake that they make, we may end up alone.  And, even if you are right about an issue, your method of communicating it to the other person and your inability to let it go, may make you and the other person more miserable and not solve a thing.

In any situation you have to ask yourself what the goal is.  Is the goal to win a fight, resolve an issue or conflict,  mend a friendship, build a relationship,  end a relationship?   What you want out of the conversation dictates how you approach it.

Whatever your goal, remember the words you choose, the tone you use, the volume, the eye contact is all a reflection of you.  By always treating others with respect, you show them and you utmost respect.  After all, being respectful is the first step in being respected. 

As always, I'd love to hear from you and what works or doesn't.  If you are in need of a speaker or would like to enter into counseling, please visit for more details about my practice.