Am I right??!!??
“Tell Nancy she was right,” my husband recounted from an email he had just received from a mutual friend. What I was right about isn’t important here…it’s that someone—a man-- actually acknowledged my rightness that’s the headline!
“Why Is It So Important to Be Right? Would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?” asks Mel Schwartz L.C.S.W., in a piece he wrote for Psychology Today. Well, Mel, being right makes me happy…is that so wrong?
Apparently, some think it is, according to a number of articles I waded through during my consultation with Dr. Google! I’ll provide a few links at the end of my column for anyone who’s ready to sacrifice the incredible satisfaction of a good “neener neener,” or, “ I told you so.” Clearly, I am not, and I’m good with that.
You see, for years I sat in meeting after meeting, at job after job, feeling like I was speaking Klingon whenever I voiced an opinion or shared an idea or a concept… only to have a man literally repeat what I had just said verbatim and be met with rousing atta boy support. Mostly, I just sat there and took it, seething in silence until one day I snapped and shouted “What am I, chopped liver???!!! I just freakin’ said that! Would it kill you to tell me I’m right???”
“There’s scientific evidence pointing to why men often think they’re always right and it has to do with their testosterone levels," according to an article in Ebony. That’s an explanation, not an excuse!
Don’t wait years to speak up like I did! Start getting yourself heard by checking out, Unmute Yourself: Speak Up to Stand Out, by Nancy Medoff. Her tips on how you, as the subject expert, can get heard in any meeting, are as actionable as they are invaluable.
What I discovered from my outburst was that it was less about having my rightness acknowledged by my male colleagues, and more about me trusting my perceptions, my experience, my gut, AND having the confidence of my convictions. While I do aspire to not needing anyone’s approval, the pleasure that I still get from knowing that I know and that other people know that I know––is just too gratifying to give up. Am I right?