Tool For Tuesday: In A Relationship, Do I Want to Be Right Or Do I Want To Be Happy?


"Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?" asks The Mom Who Took Off On Her Bicycle

“Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?” asks The Mom Who Took Off On Her Bicycle

“Oh I am not going to apologize to him,” my friend Joelle (I wrote about her here) said. “He was wrong. He acted rude. He insulted me.”

And yet—it’s three weeks later and almost every day Joelle tells me the same story. According to her version of events, he was wrong. And Joelle refuses to be the one to make the first move.

“If I go talk to him, then it’s like I’m saying he’s right,” she told me. “He should be the one to apologize to me.”

“Do you want to be right—or do you want to be happy?”

Really, does it make a difference who is the first to try to make amends? Our pride often gets in the way. And our pride can slip into self-righteousness.

It is hard to be the one to reach out first. Especially if we know we’ve been seriously wronged. But when we hold onto blaming others—then they’re living rent-free in our heads. We can find another way to fill ourselves up.

What’s more important to you: being right or being happy?

Tool For Tuesday: Maybe it’s time to reach out to someone we’ve been putting down.

About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
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6 Responses to Tool For Tuesday: In A Relationship, Do I Want to Be Right Or Do I Want To Be Happy?

  1. juliabarrett says:

    You know, the title made me laugh. We all want to be right, I guess, but being right should not become a goal in itself. Yeah, guys are wrong a lot of the time, but so what? I learned a great deal from reading the book Not Without My Daughter. Really put things in perspective.

  2. Hi Diana,
    Love your new photo!
    As my hubby says, “Happy Wife, Happy Life.”
    Life is too short to hold a grudge.
    I hope Joelle takes back control by clearing the air.

    • dianabletter says:

      Thanks, Tracy. You reminded me of that joke about the guy who says, “Don’t go to bed angry…stay up fighting!” Ha!

  3. Joelle is fortunate to have a patient and helpful friend. She seems to flounder her way in and around many of her posts, and through your advice to her we all learn.

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