The Cost of Being Right No Matter What

Sunflower -- with text

Written by Terri Crosby for In Care of Relationships

There is no faster learning curve than being in a partnership.  Being in a relationship (of any kind) is a sunflower-shining-brilliant sort of way to learn everything you ever wanted to learn about getting along with others — and about yourself.

And here’s the thing.  In every earthly endeavor, we’ve got the power and energy of the sun right behind us, even when it’s cloudy.  We’ve got the brilliance of the whole world, of those who came before us, of those who are here now, of those standing right in front of us, lighting our way.  Assistance and bright ideas are everywhere.

And here’s another thing.  Nothing will darken a relationship faster than blocking who we really are, or the light (assistance) that’s available.  There is nothing more expensive in a relationship than using energy in a way that works against us.

And we can work against ourselves.  I’ve done it myself, and I’ve seen others do it — plenty!

We work against ourselves and our brilliance by placing responsibility for the workability of a relationship outside ourselves.


  • I’m right you’re wrong, and wrong is not OK.  So you should change.  If you’d change, things would improve.
  • You must change in order for me to be happy.  If you were different, I’d be in a better mood.
  • You cause my misery.  The proof?  When I’m around you, I am miserable.  Around you, I have trouble being the person I would like to be.  So fix yourself, and then I can feel better.
  • You cause me to be upset.  Therefore, you (obviously) need to change what you do, or say, or how you are.  And then I can be who I really am.  Go ahead, I’m waiting…
  • I am afraid of you.  It’s your fault.
  • You think I am “the problem?!?”   Well, I think you’re the problem for calling me the problem.  So there.  How-do-ya-like-them-apples?
  • I know better than you what’s good for you, what works for you, or what you should do to make you/us better.  Let’s do everything my way, and then we’ll get along.  See how easy that would be?


Well, folks.  Here’s the good news and the good news.  You’re the CEO of your relationship.

So you’re the CEO, and you’re saying you can’t save the company because you’re not an inspiring leader and the other people won’t cooperate?  Other people don’t understand you?  The other people are the problem, not you?  Even though you’re in charge?

How lame is that?  It doesn’t work in business, and guess what?  It doesn’t work at home, either.

There is no easier way to keep a relationship at an unhappy standstill than by declaring ourselves powerless  to create change and evolution.   We do this by handing the the keys to our personal kingdom/queendom to someone else.  We give away our power and then blame others for bad results.  We play small.

Want to do something else instead?

TAKE THE WHEELButterfly on orange flower

How do you remember where you hid the keys to your personal power?  How do you reclaim your ability to influence an outcome or create a positive result?

  • Notice when you think the other person should change.  Just notice it.  You don’t have to fix it right away.  Just say, “Oh, I see that I think s/he should change.”  At the beginning, leave it at that.
  • Next, notice when you’re resisting your partner.  Feel it in your body.  You’re the one paying for that resistance in the form of your personal well-being and your health.  For your sake, consider letting go in that moment.  If you let go, your cells will be more able to absorb nutrients, your mental outlook could improve, your heart could beat more easily.  Just  let go and listen.  Let go and consider what’s being said as if you’ve never met that person.  Let go and ask a question instead of defending yourself.  Just give it a whirl.  Do less, say less.  Listen more.
  • Notice when you’ve laid down the reins of your relationship, meaning “I think I’ve got no control here.”  If you picked up the reins again, what would that possibly look like, sound like, feel like, be like?
  • Notice when you feel icky.  Or up tight. Or “off.”  Or angry or frustrated.  What’s going on?  Where did your ability to make a difference go?  Is it floating down the river without you?  What would it take to catch up to it?  It’s probably simpler than you think.

I’ll talk soon about more tips for improving your relationship.  This is a big subject, and sometimes, a little dab’ll do ya.

Every positive change begins with awareness.


new shoots 2About Terri Crosby — I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains with Eric, my partner of 14 years, two cats and a dog, and as many flowers and vegetables as I can plant.

I’m in favor of wandering time in the morning, listening to the birds calling to each other in the woods all around me.

Making fresh food is one of life’s big yummy pleasures, along with singing – especially creating heavenly, improvisational, prayerful, meditational sound.

It is my experience that children are born to teach (remind) parents, not the other way around.   I’ve learned more from my daughter than from all other humans combined.

I believe that poet Mary Oliver writes the best bedtime stories available on Earth.

For more information about In Care of Relationships, click here.

blame, In Care of Relationships, pointing the finger, relationship, relationships, Terri Crosby

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