why do we always want to be right

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Our opinions and our self worth are connected

Why do we always want to be right?
We do we stick to our incorrect opinions?
Why do we sometimes keep arguing even after realizing that we are wrong?

Almost all humans want to be right because that makes them feel validated. If a person took a decision then turned out to be wrong then this might make him think that he can't take proper decisions.

In other words we connect our opinions with our self worth in such a way that we become one with our opinions. When a person makes fun of our opinions we believe he is making fun of us and when a person says that we are wrong we believe that he is saying that our judgment is wrong.

We want to be right because a part of us believes that our opinions reflect our self worth and this is why any attack on our opinions might be considered a direct attack on our self worth.

When a person refuses to change his mind, even after realizing that he made a mistake, it's usually because he has became too attached to his opinion that he believes that it represents his personality and self worth. See why it's hard for people to change their assumptions.

Sometimes we can't afford to be wrong

Sometimes people develop certain beliefs then believe in them because they can't afford discovering something else. A person can get so attached to an opinion simply because he knows that if it turned out to be wrong he would have a serious problem.

This is why many people blindly defend their religions. Yes some people are enlightened and have the facts that help them believe while others defend their beliefs because they don't really know what might happen if they turned out to be wrong.

The guy who blames others for his failures is another example of a person who chooses to believe in something in order to survive. Had that guy realized that he failed because he didn't do enough hard work he might lose his self confidence. In such a case the best choice for that person is to believe in something else then defend it with his life.

In my previous article Why do we hate getting advice i explained how many people keep defending their opinions just because they might become mentally unstable if any of them was proven wrong.

Wanting to prove oneself superior

In many cases the attachment to a belief is a just a part of an unconscious power struggle that takes place between two people. A person might try to put someone down by giving him advice and the later might resist by trying to prove himself right.

Of course in many cases people give advice because they have good intentions but sometimes the problem is with our perception and not with those people. If a person believed that someone is trying to force his opinion to prove himself superior then the later might hold on more to his beliefs to prove himself superior.

Some people consider it weakness

Many people defend their incorrect opinions because they consider giving up on their opinion a weakness. The desire to be assertive or more in control can motivate a person to fiercely defend one of his beliefs even though he knows it's wrong.

This usually happens to people who feel that they are usually passive and so one day they might decide to stick to their opinion no matter what happens.

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