Most adults can accept when they’re wrong and are willing to make changes that help them become better people, but there are also those who can’t take criticism at all.
When you try to get them to see your side, they manipulate the situation to make you seem wrong (even though you’re not and you know it!).
People who always have to be right are incredibly challenging to live with. You’ll find yourself walking on eggshells around them. They’ll test your patience, cause you immense frustration, and you’ll soon resort to keeping things to yourself instead of attempting to talk to them.
All of these issues are a breeding ground for problems in any relationship.
So how do you live with someone who always thinks they’re right?
Before we get to that, you first need to understand why people behave this way.
Cluster B Personality Disorders
Psychologists associate these characteristics with Cluster B personality disorders, which include Antisocial Personality Disorders, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and some others.
People who have these disorders often have a distorted view of themselves and have unrealistic expectations from others. Such individuals feel superior to others, and this allows them to dismiss other people’s feelings and thoughts.
Their main priority is to protect a fragile ego, which is what they rely on to feel superior.
Rigid Cognitive Style
Another prominent characteristic among such individuals is their rigid thinking style. Unlike others whose ideas and thoughts change with time, Cluster B personalities are set in the way they think. Psychologists define this as Cognitive Rigidity.
Because their ideas and behaviors don’t change, they have a hard time putting themselves in people’s shoes and viewing situations through alternate perspectives.
While psychological issues may be at play, environmental factors also need to be taken into consideration when evaluating such individuals.
A person who always has to be right often has unmet needs in their social, home, or work life. While this may provide insight into their defensive behavior, it doesn’t excuse it.
A Cluster B personality will struggle to grow and lower their guard until they acknowledge they have a problem.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen until they realize and accept that their behavior continues to push others away.
In the meantime, if you’re someone who’s living with someone who always has to be right, consider seeking help from a licensed therapist.
Azizeh is a reputable therapist based in Palo Alto. She provides a range of services, including couples counseling, therapy for depression, anxiety, and family mediation.
Contact her office for more information.
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