I'm Right and I Know it

People have different emotional reasons for wanting to be "right".  Personality styles also impact the reasons why and how we then show up in our rightness. Yet, we don't always feel "good" by being the one who's right. Why is that?

May 25, 2021
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Melissa Albers  0:00  
Hey everyone, you are listening to the self awareness Journey podcast. This little banner is about a car ride long and features your hosts, JJ Parker, and Melissa Albers. JJ owns a tech company. And Melissa has been a coach working with influencers for the last 18 years.

JJ Parker  0:18  
Hi, I'm Melissa. So I did in fact, cancel that appointment this week that I really, really wanted to go to,

Melissa Albers  0:28  
I know you. I've never seen you want to go to an appointment as hard as you wanted to go to that one.

JJ Parker  0:36  
Oh, it was gonna be so awesome. I had it all figured out in my head. It was gonna be awesome. So looking forward to it. Just to bring everyone up to speed. I've had a case of tennis elbow for a few months. And it was like mildly annoying for a while. And then it got to the point where it was like, like, really not good. And I'm going on this climbing trip. A few weeks. Yeah. And I was like, I can't go climbing with tennis elbow. It's just like not going to work. So I went to the orthopedic doc. Yep. Right. And they like, you know, took my arm and twisted it and poked it and oh, you have tennis elbow. And I've never had tennis elbow in my life. It's not even with my tennis playing arm. My other arm here. And actually,

Melissa Albers  1:27  
yeah, you told me that I was like, oh, cuz I could tell by the way you said it. You really weren't. You weren't grooving on that at all?

JJ Parker  1:34  
No, I was like, well, that doesn't make sense. But okay, so then he go, the all I really wanted him to do is give me a cortisone shot. And I know that's probably like, not the most healthy thing to do. But I just like, wanted the quick fix. But the doc was like, Okay, you got to go to physical therapy. I was like, Ah, fine. So I suppose that okay, like a and just having everyone's probably assuming this. But because what my goal was to get a cortisone shot. He said, Hey, you can come back in two weeks after you've done physical therapy ever. So lot better. We'll we'll talk about that. So I, I made a beautiful spreadsheet. Did not? Of course I did. It was like my Advil regimen, my icing regimen, all my exercises, oh, this is where we pivot. I even did that super nerdy thing where you can like, do like Conditional Formatting, where it turns the color of my cells, different colors, depending on like, different value. Oh, it was awesome. But anyway, so I wanted physical therapy. And the guy's like, doing doing the tests, you know, just kind of like Stripe tests and stuff. And, and he's like, Okay, here's what you need to do. You need to do this exercise where you hold, like a two pound weight. And you just move your, your wrist up and down. Right? And did he stretches? I know it's like, is like because you're weak. And oh my god, was that a trigger word? Oh, you

Melissa Albers  3:07  
didn't say that before? When you told me I know. You

JJ Parker  3:09  
go Oh, because you're weak. And I was like, Um, no, I'm a dude. That's not the problem. That's actually not the problem. I'm gonna tell you right now. It's, that's not it. I told him that. And he goes, Why do you think that is like, and it's not like, I'm not like, I mean, I'm not like a big gym, bro. And I'm, like, hanging out. But I do do a thing. I do do strength training every week for the past two years, every single week. Yes. And what he was proposing was that my forearm muscle was weak. But for two years, I do this thing called a restaurant where I like literally roll on a bar, like a 10 pound weight, which is crazy. For that action.

Melissa Albers  3:59  
Eight more pounds than what he was suggesting. And

JJ Parker  4:05  
yeah, I was like, Okay, this isn't it. So. So like, but I left I guess I Okay, I left and I started doing the thing and I followed his stuff and I put it in my spreadsheet. And I did it for a week and then what I realized was that my my problem wasn't in my forearm, it was actually in my tricep. And actually, it was like, like my muscles were really not there and I all I did was kind of massage that and make it so those muscles weren't crazy tight. Yeah, literally the next day tennis elbow was gone.

Melissa Albers  4:45  
Did you add that to your spreadsheet?

JJ Parker  4:47  

Melissa Albers  4:50  
scratch and sniff stickers. So

JJ Parker  4:53  
So okay, so like I was like sweet, my tennis I was gone. This is awesome. Then that my Second PT appointment was still on the calendar. And like, I didn't need to go, right, like the problem solved, right? But I so wanted to go like I didn't actually cancel that appointment till the say the same morning. Because all I really want to do is walk in there and say, Hey, dude, it wasn't the the weak part, the Weak diagnosis, wasn't it? It was actually like a super tight tricep muscle. Right. And I wanted to be right. I so wanted to be right. And I don't know why. Like, to the point where I told you about it. I told everybody at work about how I was right about it. I told my wife about how I was right about it. Right and how this poor guy was wrong. And like he's just doing it. I mean, you know what I mean? It's not him. Like he's just happens to be like, right, you know, it caught my eye like rightness crossfire. But I just don't know what it was like, I was so obsessed with being right and wanting to tell this guy I was right.

Melissa Albers  6:07  
I remember I don't know why. I remember when you were telling me about this whole part. The early part, I didn't hear that you cancelled. We never talked about it again. But I remember when you were talking about I'm going to go and I'm going to tell him I was right. I was like, You're gonna as an introvert, you're going to spend 45 minutes with someone you don't know in very close proximity with him touching you, so that you can tell him that you were right. And you're like, yep.

JJ Parker  6:33  
That that comment of yours. Maybe like, tip the scale. says like, maybe I shouldn't actually go and waste basically waste everybody's time just for this one little self satisfaction.

Melissa Albers  6:47  
Isn't that funny though? Like I've never seen you agar in about something like that. You're so normally so like, You're You're right. Lots and lots and lots of times, but even when you are you don't usually make a big thing about it. You're kind of like yeah, okay, well moving on. But this one really stuck in your craw somehow.

JJ Parker  7:03  
Yeah. Actually, Amber was, as I was like, on this, like, rant about how I or it looks more like fantasy that I was telling her about I was gonna go to physical therapy. Um, she's like, I've never seen you like this. Yeah, I don't know. I don't know what's going on.

Melissa Albers  7:19  
Isn't it funny how those sometimes are we get really invested in our egos and we just have to be right. We want to be right.

JJ Parker  7:26  
Yeah, it must have been an that sort of ego thing. Yeah, no, I think about it. I mean, there's no reason there is zero reason why I should have felt compelled. I should have just been like awesome. His suggestions got me down a path that I kind of self so know the problem and it's fixed. And here we go. Just move on. Right.

Melissa Albers  7:48  
So why do you think you got so mad this time? I don't know. I think I didn't really click on this for a couple days.

JJ Parker  7:56  
Now that I know that you and I are talking about it, you know and recording it and setting it in stone on a podcast. I feel a little bit embarrassed about

Melissa Albers  8:05  
oh, I don't think you should. I don't know. I don't think I should feel embarrassed because you know what, I think this is a real I think some topic.

JJ Parker  8:14  
I think it was a combination of um, you know, I just likes frankly I don't think I liked that. He said that. Like after explaining my workout regimen and my level of fitness that that this idea that I have to go back to almost zero with strength training and start from there was like the diagnosis. I just didn't like that. I didn't like it. I don't I really don't like that. He said, your forearms are weak. Right? Specifically, if you want to get specific

Melissa Albers  8:48  
I'm a rock climber and a tennis player. I got stronger arms and most small monkeys.

JJ Parker  8:53  
Yeah, like Popeye like haha but so I think that was it. I mean, I really think it was like an ego thing where I didn't like that. I just wanted to go somehow, like vindicate fat or something as dumb

Melissa Albers  9:10  
well, to make you feel a little, a little less on the spot and maybe even slightly less embarrassed. I will tell you that there are so many things in my life where my ego has gotten in the way and I want to be right no matter what, like way way way more consistently on a weekly basis. I have to check in with that so I think that's the thing.

JJ Parker  9:32  
So let's talk like let's talk about this because like a little bit in less of a you know, goofy way with my story is like, like being right feels good. Right and there's something about being right feels good. Right? Oh, you said sometimes why when does it not feel good? Well,

Melissa Albers  9:52  
I agree with you. I think at first blush, it does seem like being right should feel good. But I think what happens is When we're right, someone else isn't. And I think if our ego is running around unchecked, and we're doing things, you know that actor self business that we always talk about checking, validating ourselves against everyone else. I think if you're trying to be right, in that perspective, I actually think then you end up not actually feeling very good about it, even if you are right, because then you know that it came at the expense of someone else, depending on how you responded about it, you know?

JJ Parker  10:30  
Yeah, that's interesting. I'll air some more like family laundry here. I'm sure my mom's listening

Alright, so like, I, I, I, like my dad's right, a lot. Right? Um, and my mom makes sure we all know that. He needs to be right. Like, and I thought that was really interesting, because I'm sure I'm gonna now like, right after this airs made a phone call from my mom. So

Melissa Albers  11:10  
we might as well just get ready for it. Hi. Everybody I

JJ Parker  11:15  
know. So like, like, in for even in family dynamics or relationships. Right? Like, it's like, a theme, I guess, would be like, you know, my mom always say like, Oh, your dad's your dad always has to be right. Right. Yeah. And that's maybe sort of develops in a relationship over time. Now, I'm sure my mom's got a different view of this, which she's welcome to come on the podcast and discuss with us. But from my perspective, I always like, like, and I because I think I probably the Apple didn't fall far from the tree in that way. Right. I feel like I often strive to be right. But I don't try to do it. Because I need to be right. It's just like, I want to make sure I'm adding my perspective, I guess. And if that perspective happens to be right. Yeah, I guess better for everybody. Maybe, you know, I'm not I'm not trying to, like prove people wrong. I'm more trying to like, make sure we're considering all of the different things. Yeah, I think that comes across, though, not, not as I intended to be, you know what I mean? Does that make sense? I'm calling this dynamic because like, I

Melissa Albers  12:34  
write Yeah, I would like to say, you know, we always talk about personality traits, but the ones we usually talk about are like patients, or we talk about, you know, extraversion and introversion. But one of the things we really have never explored much is assertiveness, which is one of the main personality traits that is measured and has been measured, measured since the 30s. And this is an interesting piece right now that I kind of forgot about until you were just saying it now is individuals. Okay, so let me see if I can explain this. Well, individuals that have a high level of assertiveness Mm hmm. I'm an expanded perspective that can go into arrogance, okay, a high assertiveness. However, attached to that assertiveness construct, if it is the, I want to be right, it is more because of the ego. And because of what it will look like if your name is associated with it not being right. Okay, so that's that high assertiveness. However, if you're somebody who's really detailed, you're like, You're a very detailed person. I am not a detail person. Well, I sort of am but not at all in comparison.

JJ Parker  13:40  
I mean, you didn't make a therapy spreadsheet?

Melissa Albers  13:43  
Oh, no, I know, I know how to do that. I wouldn't even know how to get past the first cell in Excel unless it was already done for me. But people who have a high level of detail also have a very high need for accuracy. So I think this is what you're getting at, because it's not, it's not being right, because your ego is attached. It's being right, because if it's under your watch, you don't want it to be wrong. Like you don't care about getting credit for it. It's not about credit. It's not about ego. It's about accuracy. It's about accuracy.

JJ Parker  14:15  
Yeah. Yeah, that totally resonates with what I try to do. Yeah, even though it comes off as me just wanting to be right.

Melissa Albers  14:24  
Well, and that's when that whole extraversion introversion comes into play, how much are you willing to talk about it and say the reasons why you're usually not because you're more introverted. So you have this really specific ideal, but you're not expanding on it very much. So other people are just watching this specific ideal unfold, and they're not exactly sure why. Yes, I

JJ Parker  14:42  
like I like this. So So what you're saying is in my little tennis story, what I was actually trying to do is be more accurate about the diagnosis and hope this physical therapist with future clients I am. Yeah, that sounds so nice of me.

Melissa Albers  14:58  
Never tell someone they're weak again. But it's interesting though, because like, as we're talking about being right, it's funny because you are a more accommodating, detailed person. It's your nature, it's who you are. So when you talk about being right, there's not an association of egos with it. Not usually anyway, you know. And, but for me, I had an immediate opposite reaction when you said, you know, being right is a certain thing, right? I was like, oh, because immediately I went to that I am a highly assertive individual with not as much detail. And if I if I agar in about being right, it's usually because I'm trying to make a stand about something. It's not because I gently just trying for it to be such a certain way. And I've worked on that, like, for years trying to get over that piece. Because I don't like that.

JJ Parker  15:52  
Yeah, yeah. Right. I actually never, you know, you and I get in this situation all the time where like, I like we explore the two sides of the coin. Right? Yeah, it is awesome. That Yep. Like, it helps me kind of understand. So again, like, if you're, if you're like, more assertive, you're just more willing to like, put, like, put it out there like this.

Melissa Albers  16:19  
It's not right, even if it's not right, and claim it as it is claim it as accurate.

JJ Parker  16:25  
Yeah. So what happens? What happens in that situation? When you're wrong, right? Yeah. If you've put it out there, you're like, hey, this is the thing. Yeah, I'm totally right. Yep. And then it's like, obviously wrong.

Melissa Albers  16:38  
Yeah. So it depends on your level of self awareness, and how assertive and authoritative you actually are. If you're aware that you're like that, and you're interested in being more in partnership with others, it's likely that you'll say, Oh, I was totally wrong, and you'll throw yourself on, you know, throw yourself in front of the boss, it doesn't matter. Because highly assertive people can be wrong and just start again. It's like, yeah, that's okay. I'll just go figure out something else. Whereas the opposite personality style would be much more cautious and much more Oh, my gosh, that wasn't right. You know, going into the detailed explanations about why and how and try to make it okay, that the outcome wasn't perfect.

JJ Parker  17:20  
Yeah, like just sort of trying to justify Yeah, why it was or write essay make excuses, but trying to like rationalize through the outcome.

Melissa Albers  17:31  
Yeah. Right. Exactly.

JJ Parker  17:31  
Exactly. Or, and what it also will, cause is, for me to almost be less assertive the next time around. Yeah. Right. Definitely. Like last time I kind of put put put something out there. It didn't, it didn't really turn out to be right. So I'll just I'll back off. And or select sand down the edges not be so. Right. Yeah, no, that's just until we basically have like a double

Melissa Albers  18:06  
well, and what happens is with people that are highly detailed, because the the need for accuracy is way more important than their need for their ego to be met. So like, it's really funny people, you know, if you're working with people that are really detailed individuals, some of the other markers that go along with that is risk aversion. Most people that are highly detailed, don't like risk, they like things that are very, I know exactly what to expect. And this is going to be the outcome. If they're going to buy something, they will research it, they will be cautious, they will make the choice that makes the most sense and has the least amount of risk. And if they make a mistake, then what they'll do is make it their business to become more of an expert next time. Learn more. And then depending on their extraversion, this is where it gets more complicated when you study personalities, but then based on their sociability, or they're willing to talk about it, they'll either have all of these experiences without saying anything. They're just in their own heads over it. Or if they're more extroverted, they will explain their entire process. It's kind of like you ask somebody to tell you what time it is, and they tell you how to make the watch. That's the extroverted and detailed individual. I want to tell you absolutely everything I know about this, even though you asked a simple question. You must want more.

JJ Parker  19:21  
Got it? Yeah. We have a friend who, who who researches like everything. Like it's his favorite thing to do. Right? So you'd ask him some random thing like, Hey, John, what? What webcam should I get anyway? Well, here's a whole detailed report of all the webcams I've tested over the past five years, and I've ranked them by these different

Melissa Albers  19:44  
Yeah, yeah. And I'm right. And I'm right, because I've researched it. Well. Are you taking credit? Well, no, of course not. I don't even care about the credit. I'm just saying I know this is right, because I've researched it.

JJ Parker  19:55  
So what I always joke like if if you needed to buy something new, just go ask John like which one to get because you No, he's already researched all of it. Yeah, you can just skip the whole step of where you try to figure it out yourself. Yeah. Guys, girlfriend, John, he'll tell you.

Melissa Albers  20:09  
It's kind of like what I do with you anything technology related? Yeah, just ask you. Well, it's interesting, though, because there's a continuum, right? Like, we're really talking about the continuum of being right. It's, and I think, based on different personalities, there are different reasons that people want to be right. What you do with it, how you act about it, is very much driven towards your personality trait, but I think it also has a lot to do with your self awareness. You know, like, because I'm, I am admittedly, a recovering, type A personality. And, and before, I would have to, if I was in a group, I would have to lead the group. If I was having to make a stand on something, even if I wasn't sure that the stand was right, I'd have all kinds of bravado around it like I did. I mean, I'm just being honest. I'm not. It's just but you like as you were talking about it. It's not that way at all. It's a completely different perspective about being right. It's for completely different reasons. And I think, I think it's really important to recognize that when we're dealing with people that are, are in that, in that mode of wanting to be right, because how you manage and work with that individual has very much to do not with unnecessary of being right or wrong, but who they are as a person and why they're coming at it that way.

JJ Parker  21:29  
Yeah. What let me see it. Like, I want to ask your questions, just to kind of push the examples. Yeah. Like, how do you feel about like, do you ever gamble? Not a lot. Did you ever go to Vegas? Like when? Okay, um, so like, if you were to walk up to like, the roulette table, you know, and put $20 down on black, you know, spend the thing. And you're right. About that. Yeah. Or wrong about that. Like, like, how do you feel about being right or wrong? In like a gambling situation?

Melissa Albers  22:09  
Oh, that's interesting. Well, having absolutely no information about it and not being a gambler. I'd be like, Yeah, I don't care. Like, I'm comfortable with risk. How much do I want to spend? I'll spend? Yeah, $300. I'm gonna spend $300. And I don't know what I'm doing. So I'll just throw it out there. And whatever happens happens. I don't care.

JJ Parker  22:27  
Yeah. So like, this is an example of like, How does being right or wrong? affects you in a scenario where you have actually no control?

Melissa Albers  22:37  
Right? Oh,

JJ Parker  22:38  
right. Right. That's kind of what I was getting at. Oh, right. Right. Like so for me. And that's it. I can, I can't, I have, like, there's no enjoyment in gambling for me. Right? And it's not necessarily because I'm not right. Like, cuz I'm risk averse, right, the risk part of it I don't care about but then not being able to control the any of the outcome based on like being right or wrong drives me in saying I can't do it. Okay, like,

Melissa Albers  23:10  
so you know what happened? So in that situation, if I lost, I would just be like, I'd probably brag about it. Oh, yeah. I just, I just totally lost 300 bucks in six and a half seconds. I knew I was going to but what the hell I tried, it doesn't matter. So I would just like be done with it and ready to move on to the next one. But the funny thing is this, if I won, I would probably craft a really good story. Oh,

JJ Parker  23:31  
yeah. I was watching that table I was getting.

Melissa Albers  23:37  
I could tell there were professionals at the table. You know, I just went up real cool. Like, I was like, oh, yeah, my gut telling me black. Yeah. Like, that's the highly assertive person that ends up being right by accident, but then takes full credit.

JJ Parker  23:53  
Well, I think it's really interesting to talk about let's shift to tie like, I want to talk about being right and wrong. is, to me, it's like First off, like, in a lot of ways it's so subjective. Yes. Right. Like is a thing actually. Right. I mean, what we're really almost more talking about is like, yeah, was did the results line up with my expectation? Right, more than maybe like, absolute rightness or wrongness? I mean, that's like such a judgment call. Yeah. And then the idea that like judging something as right. And then almost like taking credit for that. It's like, so many things. You have such little control over? Yeah. Right. That you're almost like taking credit for circumstance and a lot of times Yeah, but I think it's interesting more on the flip side when you're wrong to say like, Hey, I thought a thing. I was not right about it. But the things that I you know, like that But information I knew about this situation and what actually unfolded. Yeah, it was like partial information and not in my control. So right don't take being wrong. So personally,

Melissa Albers  25:12  
right? Well, and here's the thing, I'll bring it back home to what we were talking about earlier, which is the self awareness piece and being in partnership with yourself and being in partnership with other people. One of the things that I will sometimes say, and it was said to me, which is where I learned it and thought it was so great is especially when we're interacting with our loved ones, and we get wrapped around the axle about really dumb stuff, right? Just trying to be right. Are even things it's time for you to sit down. You know, it's time for you to sit down, but you just can't you keep trying to force it to make it right. I love this phrase, do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? I love that because a lot of times we make decisions to be right when it doesn't feel good. We make decisions to stay, you know, forcing our rightness. And inside we know it doesn't. It's not the right thing for us, but we just can't let it go. So it's kind of interesting. Think about it like that.

JJ Parker  26:09  
I like that. So I'm gonna choose to be happy. Yeah, go tell the guy that I was right. The physical therapy place.

Melissa Albers  26:21  
That was the best story ever. We hope that you've enjoyed today's episode. Our mission is to help people become happier and more effective by gaining insight into their own thoughts and feelings. We'd love your support. First, share this podcast with anyone you think might enjoy it. Second, leave us a rating or review on your favorite podcast safe. This helps others discover the podcast so we can reach more people. And third, sign up for our newsletter at the self awareness journey calm. This will help us communicate better with you and build our community. Thank you so much for joining us in the self awareness journey. We'll see you next week.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Discussed in this episode

Let's get real

Meet your guides

JJ Parker

JJ Parker is a serial entrepreneur passionate about building creative strategy, efficient operations, and unique marketing perspectives. Parker got his start as a student at The Minneapolis Institute of Art, and soon after launched his first company Tightrope Media Systems (TRMS) with a high school buddy in 1997.

Melissa Albers

Melissa is passionate about developing people’s self-awareness and ability to positively interact with others. She focuses on the importance of building influence, and highlights the most important relationship we have is with self first. Ms. Albers speaks on leadership and self-awareness, and has shared the stage with John Maxwell (Leadership Author and Speaker), Lee Cockerell (Exec VP of Disney) and Les Brown (Motivational Speaker) to name a few.

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