Sunday, December 20, 2015

What's wrong with people who have to be right?

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

I am 18 and my mom is bringing me home from college for Christmas. The ride is thirteen hours long. The problem is that she will insist during the whole ride that she is right about everything.

She gets so angry and worried about me agreeing with her (sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t). She constantly tells me, “You know what’s wrong with you …” and, “Why didn’t you just agree with me-you know I’m right?”

She gets so mad at me when I say that she isn’t right. She even told me that I shouldn’t use tampons (but she does)! She tells me how I should think, feel and what to do!

Her favorite thing to say is, “I don’t appreciate” what a great mom she is and how lucky I am to have her.

Her list of should’s and must’s would be 32 pages long!

I’m miserable and I haven’t left on the trip yet! 

Dear Miserable,

First of all, you are not crazy for being upset when someone (even your mom) demands they are right. Secondly, why try to make sense out of someone who isn’t making sense?  Third, this is not really about you. It’s a problem your mom needs to deal with.

However, you aren’t going to change her. She has to see that she needs to grow and realize that her fears are limiting her ability to have healthy and close relationships.

Hopefully we can help you understand a type of disorder (not fully studied or introduced as such to the general public) where the insistence of being right is more important than anything else in someone’s life.

People who insist on being right have profound insecurities about being in error and losing their imagined power. It helps keep others at arm’s length and not connecting. They often fear having true intimate and sensitive relationships.

Why? Their fear of being hurt in a relationship is so strong that they create a certain perceived power through anger, intimidation, and being right.

Someone like your mom is very unhappy. Hopefully you can be grateful that you have the ability to see truth vs. nonsense and also have some compassion about her fears.

This is not to excuse your mom’s anger and lack of care about your feelings. They are valid indeed.

We are saying that her excuse to justify her behavior of criticizing you and becoming mean and angry is unacceptable and wrong. You will not change her deeply imbedded belief that she is right. As long as she views being wrong as a matter worse than death, you may only be able to either distract her or tell her that regardless of being right or wrong, her anger and intimidation are unacceptable. Tell her this over and over in a calm manner and you will regain your power and not feel like a victim.

Follow our Triangle of Triumph™: Victim – Survivor – Leader. You don’t have a choice to be a victim but you have a choice to not stay one.

Our love and wishes to keep Christ in Christmas-Merry Christmas – to all our readers!

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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