I Understand You’re Right

Some people just want to be understood.

Some people just want to be right!

What’s not to understand?  If you’re right, you’re right.  Right?

I’ve been scratching my head a bit lately, wondering why it is that for some people, it is crucial to Be Right.  Doesn’t matter about what…..they’ve just…got…to…be…RIGHT!

Take, for instance, the computer geek that I recently dated for, like, 90 milliseconds.  He wrote me a whole email about the fact that I was mistaken about the date my antique Mac was released.  Whew.  I am so glad that I didn’t go around for the rest of my effing life with that misconception.  But he was right.  He.  Was.  RIGHT!  And I told him so.  I am wrong, and you are right.  And he was happy, and satisfied, and had a nice warm feeling in his belly.  Good-bye.

And then there was my weekly aggravating conversation (if one could call it such) with one of the people who call me every Friday, in honor of the Sabbath; his name shall not be mentioned, so instead I will call him Bob.

Now, Bob is a very good person.   A bit selfish, yes: always complaining that he gives more than he gets, always picking apart every woman who comes his way and then moaning about how God isn’t sending him his wife…but the thing that sticks in my craw is that the man Must.  Be. Right.

It hit me today, as I meandered about the kitchen with the speakerphone on, making myself breakfast at 2:30 in the afternoon.  He kept on saying, “But you don’t understand!  Yackity, yackity, yackity, yack….”  (It does not matter what we were talking about, because Bob will only ever argue about it anyway….)

“So,” I mumble, in between bites of egg……

“You’re mumbling!  I can’t understand you!”

“Yes, I know I’m mumbling.  I’m trying to eat my breakfast.”

“Oh, yes, breakfast.  I ate breakfast too, this morning.”  I am so happy that Bob had a good breakfast.  It leaves me in tears.

He is in a much earlier time zone, relative to mine.  I considered mentioning that it was 2:30 in the afternoon here, just for interest, but tossed that out, as it probably would not have drawn any interest on Bob’s part; and it would rob me of precious seconds in which to eat my egg while it was warm.

“Good, good.  I’m glad you ate breakfast, Bob.  May it be in good health.”  I took a bite of toast.

“What’s…that…crunching noise?”  He said accusingly, with no small hint of suspicion.

“A time bomb.  I’ve affixed it to your ear, and in ten seconds…”  Sigh.  No, I did not say that.

I changed the subject to one that I know is dear to his heart: the Splitting of the Sea.  Like in the Bible, right, when the Sea split to let the Children of Jacob through, and afterward it drowned all of Pharaoh’s armies?  We like to argue, um, talk about that one. There are jillions of ways it can apply in one’s life.  I like to pull that out when we talk, because I know it’s one he can go on about forever and I can get my breakfast eaten and the paper plate thrown away–I am not yet well enough to face dishes–without my having to say a word.

In my constant quest for learning something by which to earn a living, I came upon a sage who taught me that there are two broad categories of human beings:

–people whose only wish is to be understood;

–and people whose only wish is to be right.

It hit me like a ton of bricks today, while listening to him on the speakerphone whining,

“But you don’t understand!  You don’t understand!   It’s not like this, it’s like that!

“You’re right,” I said, having finally understood.  “You’re right!

“What?”  He said, sounding a bit lost.

“I said, you’re right!  You are absolutely right!”

By this time, I don’t think either of us remembered exactly what it was that he was right about, but it seemed to give him immense satisfaction to know that I knew that he was right.  There was a satisfied silence on his end of the phone.  Then I knew I was understood, which is, to me, the object of life: to be understood.

He understood that I understood that he…is…RIGHT!

“Well,” I lied, “Gotta have both my hands now, to do the dishes!”

“OK, I gotta go too!”  He sounded so happy, it gave my heart wings.  To fly away.  I hung up, feeling light and happy.  Now I understand.

Next week, I hope Bob will still remember that he’s right, and not need me to remind him.

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20 Comments

  1. i know for sure that i am a person who ‘must be understood’, but its possible i may also be a person who ‘must also be right’. im not positive, don’t have any good comparison. what if i am both? then i must be terrible socially. that might explain things tho.

    congrats on you making him right, and then being understood.

    Reply
    • I think we’re all hybrids, in varying proportions. I reserve the right to be right AND to be understood! Understand? You’re RIGHT! (sorry, I am getting a bit silly here….must go do the dishes….oh wait, they’re in the trash! Now I understand!) Actually, now I am thoroughly confused, and I think I know why……I’ve forgotten to go to bed, and my dog has forgotten to tell me. She is Sleeping On The Job. Just gone to sleep, in HER bed, without a peep! Hmph. Treat overdose, most likely 😉

      Reply
  2. Terri

     /  January 23, 2015

    Ha ha Human Skills to keep annoyance at safe distances.

    Reply
  3. savemefrombpd

     /  January 24, 2015

    I’m guilty of being stubborn. Sometimes I feel it inside and I hate it. I ask questions and then get answers and fob them all off. I don’t blame you, maybe that’s a reason as to why what happebed with us happened. I am not afraid to say that and break down the wall not only with you but many other bloggers too. Xx

    Reply
    • We all have our stress/distress tolerance levels. The important thing, survival and health-wise, is to recognize them. The next thing is to know them. The third thing is to act on them. Not a judgemental thing at all, heaven forbid. Survival, yes.

      Reply
      • savemefrombpd

         /  January 24, 2015

        Wise words. I see the process yes.
        I’m feeling it a lot more physically recently with this real bout of it. It’s been the worst. And I feel the effect of it all and being overmedicated

        Reply
  4. Uh oh. I must be that ‘right’ person. I do tend to have discussions, nay, debates that I feel the need to be right on, however I’m not beyond telling someone they are right also.
    This is way different than when someone is discussing feelings like Bob. Those are the times I want to be understood, not right. There is no right. . Or wrong for that matter when it comes to feelings. They are what they are. That is why we need understanding.

    Reply
  5. Success! I finally logged in.

    Reply
    • Yay! Glad to see you 🙂

      Reply
      • Yay! I plan to write again. I can only hamdle so much and now with my part time and new position at the studio, AND freelancing and boyfriend… Im exhausted from anxiety.

        Reply
        • Wow, that’s a lot to juggle 🙂 Hope to see you writing, even just a little bit, and I especially want to see your art! Love ya ❤

          Reply
          • Love ya back! Im at s place right now where i can deal withy anxiety enough to work, part time at least. The physical pain has been bad lately. I was crying last night but not because of pain. Anywho, i replied to your comment. I do fond my partner boring at times. But i stick around cause i love him and we’re good for each other. He takes such good care of me. Love ta back 😘

            Reply
            • I’m sorry about the pain part. I just came from the spine clinic and the brace shop. Supposed to be getting a custom brace for my neck but that brace shop has never made a custom molded one, so I’m not so excited about being their guinea pig. I tried one that they had already and it was like, OK, but I really need a custom one…I’m sure you’ve been around the block plenty with braces and shit….

              Reply
            • And I’m thrilled that you’ve found a guy who loves you and takes good care of you! I commend him on his good taste!!

              Reply
              • Wow. It’s been over two years since I posted and communicated with my favorite bloggers like you (or any blogger really). I’ll update you a bit. The “guy” and I are no longer together. It lasted two years but one of the main reasons was his mother. He and his mother have a toxic relationship. They have not cut the toxic umbilical chord and he turned out to be a man-child. She couldn’t accept the fact that I’m in a wheelchair. She’s just an overall bitter, venomous woman full of anger, hate and in a mission for vengeance. Maybe I’ll write about my experience in that relationship where I learned a lot; maybe not.

                I do miss you. I miss this place, this safe haven. Have you published your book yet?

                Reply
                • Hi! Hi! Hola! Shalom! I’m so glad to see you, my friend!

                  Sorry you got socked with the intact umbilical cord….yeccchhhh!

                  I hope you blog about that. It seems to be an all-too-common problem. There’s a lot in the blogosphere right now on narcissistic relationships and toxic people, so I know people would want to hear your story.

                  I haven’t got either of my books published, um, or even finished yet. I’ve got to the point in both of them where the subject I have to write about freaks me out. I’ve been having a bad spell with PTSD so I have to wait till that settles down so I can finish the damn books!!!

                  So glad you checked in with me. Neshikot, I mean, besitos!!!

                  Reply
          • While i wait for my dad to pick me up from work, ill bomb you with more comments. My father is one who needs to be right. Or can never be wrong bevause if he is you’re being cruel and his heart breaks. Ive learned to nodd and do what you did to Bob.

            Reply

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