This maxim has been around for a while but people still have trouble adhering to it. Perhaps if we break it down into its parts, it will be easier to put into practice.
- You can be right – You are putting a premium on your sense of worth. You hold fast to your opinion, your argument, or your sense of righteousness despite what it may cost you, or
- You can be happy – You are putting the emphasis on the contentment in your life. You would rather give in on an issue than allow it to create discord, but
- You can’t be both – Most of the time, right and happy are not going to converge in such a way that your partner will be thunderstruck by your argument and happily give in.
While having a strong opinion is not a bad thing, if it overrides your relationships you may need to consider which is more important to you – your opinion or your relationship. (Of course its entirely possible that you’re in the wrong relationships – that should be explored too!).
- Ask yourself why your opinion is more important than your relationship – is there an underlying issue (with you? with the relationship?)? Make sure you are holding onto your opinion for the correct reasons.
- Conversely, if you’re giving away every argument, you should probably ask yourself why you’re consistently putting peace over expressing yourself.
True happiness will lie in finding the right balance between standing up for yourself and compromising for the sake of harmony.