Would You Rather Be Right or Happy?

Would you rather be right or happy

Why do people ask this? Why do I get so confused when they do?

It makes no sense to me. When I hear it it throws me. It’s the same as asking would you rather be a in a zoo or Tuesday. It’s not an either or question.

I do know that when a boss asks you this in the heat of a discussion where you are debating the facts of a situation the correct answers are not:Wrong Answer

  • Being right makes me happy.
  • Happiness stems from doing the right thing.
  • So what you’re saying then is, I’m right.
  • Are we in second grade? Do I get a star sticker for the right answer?

Or the ever applicable but never appropriate

  • Either would be better than this right here.

Aside from the responses that don’t work, it still left me blank every time it was asked, and made me wonder and question myself. I tried to determine if there was some deeper meaning in the question. Did I have to be right to be happy? Was I willing to forgo happiness at any cost to do the right thing? I looked deep inside and talked to others, all in an effort to understand the two issues: why it was asked, and why I find it confusing.

I realized, finally, why I found it confusing. I never asked that question. Because it doesn’t make sense. These are two essentially unrelated concepts in my mind. They are not interdependent. It’s like asking would you rather be warm in the sun or sweaty. They can take place at the same time, but they are not tied to each other. Duh.

don't feed the trollI took it further and realized again that I had never asked that question. Others asked me. Others who clearly feel these are equally, often opposing states of being. It represents an underlying insecurity on the part of the person asking, who typically finds him or herself on the receiving end of being wrong, yet still miserable and unsure how to respond to that. Those same people also find that if they cannot be right, they have to make someone else be wrong, or unhappy, to find relief from their own internal pain.

My being happy is not predicated on another being wrong or me being right.

Besides, I’m lefty. You people focus way too much on this “right” stuff.


About Laurissa Doonan

I'm a marketer. I've been a professional marketer for over 25 years, but in reality, I have always been one. Marketing to me is about communicating effectively, regardless of platform, regardless of channel. Marketing is understanding both your objectives and your audience, and finding the right method and message for your customers to reach them where they are. Now I dedicate my efforts to helping very small and small companies pursue their passions and grow their businesses through marketing; providing agency trained expertise without the overhead. www.Charter-Marketing.com www.CharterMarketing.wordpress.com
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2 Responses to Would You Rather Be Right or Happy?

  1. barbara joy says:

    I’ve spent years trying to balance this! Being raised by a narcissistic mother made me always ready to fight to defend my opinion….It wasn’t until she died and I lost the feeling…the needing if you will to prove I was right at something, anything that I felt myself relax. It’s okay to be wrong….happiness ensues.

  2. When dealing with narcissists it’s a totally different level of confusion! Being right wins their approval, unless it doesn’t and it only serves to annoy them. Being raised by one makes your ability to separate the two and less confident in understanding what is expected from others in the world around you. When you then meet another narcissist who acts the same way it’s a total mess because you need to balance the strange comfort with the continued pain.

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