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  • Writer's pictureGuy Gourley

"Fight To Be Close, Not To Be Right"

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

So often in relationships, a couple thinks that if they are validated that they are right, they will feel closer to each other. That is seldom the case. Just the opposite. As they battle to prove that what they are saying is right, it comes out all wrong. The argument escalates, and they end up feeling more apart. They mistakenly believe that they will feel better if they can get the other person to admit that they are right and the other person is wrong.

The problem is that everyone thinks the problem is the problem. The problem is seldom the problem. The problem is that both are not emotionally getting what they want/need from the other person. So, they try harder using more intellectual reasoning and debating to make their point. However, the other person thinks their perception of the problem is just as valid. They end up in He said…She said until they are so frustrated, they no longer want to talk and shut down.

The Answer:

1. You must first be willing to pause: be open, be willing to ask questions, and be other-centered.

2. You must identify what emotional need lies underneath the problem. This one is the most difficult one.

3. You must be able to use descriptive, emotional words to convey what you need. (Use an emotional vocabulary list if you need to.)

4. You must be willing to validate some portion of what they are saying, even if you don’t totally agree with the sum part of what they are saying. (Otherwise, they don’t feel heard and keep on talking.)

5. You must be willing to make closeness the goal, not your pride in being right.

6. When both people feel validated, connected, and attached.

7. Then…you can do problem-solving together as a team. Win-Win

Remember, you can be right and “win,” but in the end, you lose.

Matthew 16: 25

Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

God has called us to love well. Sometimes we have to give up the right to be right to love the way God has called us to love.

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