Movin On Up Work & The World

Are you a right fighter?

Are you a right fighter?

Is being right more important that preserving or creating relationships?  Do you struggle to reach an adequate conclusion because you are too busy trying to prove that you are most right?  How do you get to a stage where being right is not the only outcome?

In most circumstances I like to think of myself as a retired right fighter.  My right fighting goes way back, I suspect it comes from my Grandmother.  At the ripe old age of 95 if she thinks something is a certain way, then it is.  Period.  For years, particularly early in my career, I would right fight like my life depended on it.  These days I try to control the urge, but sometimes it leaks out!

Right fighting Definition

 “A right-fighter is someone who gets overly emotional or angry when people do not agree with them and their opinions or beliefs. A right-fighter is someone who insists on having the last word in an argument or refuses to back down no matter what.” Google Definitions

The problem with being a right fighter

The problem with right fighting is that it can become less about the problem and more about the win.  The ultimate result is that a right fighter might walk away feeling righteous, but no resolution has been reached.   Right fighters tend to leave nothing on the table, it’s their way or the highway. This can leave bruised relationships, battered colleagues and ultimately the wrong outcome.  When we allow for no other opinion than our own, we step into dangerous territory.  I don’t know about you, but I am not right in every decision I take or opinion that I hold; not even close.  I talk about that here.

So if you are a right fighter, how do you pull back?

3 Ways you can do a little less right fighting.
  1. Right fighters are notoriously bad listeners.  We are busy fussing around in our own heads finding a slam dunk.  The consequences of this “busyness inside the head lark” is that we generally aren’t listening to what the other person is saying.  Worse, we are trying to find counter points to the argument, rather than trying to understand what the other person is attempting to convey.  Even if your blood is boiling, try hearing the person out.  Say nothing until they run out of puff, it’s a great technique and gives you the opportunity to really hear what they are saying.
  2. Consider the consequence of it not going the way you believe it should. Is the sky going to fall down if you don’t get your way?  Are you treating the issue as a ten, when it is only a four?  Most situations aren’t life or death.  And it is OK that you know someone who holds an opinion that is diametrically opposite to yours.  What is the consequence of you not getting your way?  Is it that important?
  3. Get out of your own echo chamber. Have a look at your Facebook feed, does it have any propaganda from a cause or political party that you don’t believe in?  Social media allows us to tailor our media diet, effectively blocking anything that doesn’t suit us.  The best examples of this have been BREXIT and Trump.  Both outcomes were highly unexpected to liberal leaning voters, problem was, liberal leaning voters weren’t the only ones voting.  If you only listen to your own crowd, of course it will seem like everyone thinks your way, you haven’t allowed any other form of thinking in!  Try listening to a podcast about something that you disagree with, be open to understanding why people think differently.  You don’t have to change your opinion, but it might be helpful to understand where another side is coming from.  I talk about the dangers of being in an echo chamber here in a post about embracing the naysayers in your life
But you still love the fight

Finally, if you just love the debate, find a sparring partner.  Find someone who isn’t going to get bruised when you go hard, and who will not take it personally.  My brother and I are sparring partners, sometimes he calls up and is provocative just to get a rise out of me.  Once it is out of my system though, I tend to manage the other disagreements much better.

What is your favourite topic to right fight about?

Politics?

The Environment?

Your in-laws?

Photo by Corentin Marzin on Unsplash

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