I had an experience this morning that helped me to really understand how to let go of trying to be right and getting a person to do what I thought was right. I had hired a person to do some work for me, and we agreed that things would be done in 24 hours, but they were not getting done for days at a time. I tried talking to the woman and thought I was clearly in the “right.” She responded somewhat hostility and said I wasn’t respecting her boundaries and she doesn’t work after 5 pm. I asked for a refund, but the person said no. She said I had eight hours left, and she would work them out.
I agreed to have her finish out the hours since the contract did say “no refunds.” A few more days went by, and no work was done. I was answering my work phone and calling everyone back so it would get done. I asked her if she had done anything, and she said she would the next day. I got frustrated again and said I could escalate things. I knew that I paid with a credit card, and I could call my credit card company and start a claim. I know this person is having financial difficulty, and it would be a burden on them to have to pay back over $300 paid, so when I say that there was something at stake, it was $300 that I’m going to be giving away if I don’t fight. I know that I can fight, and there’s a part of me that likes to fight and likes to win. By the way, that’s part of what got in the way in my relationship. That is why I am sharing this.
I knew if I went after this person and got a full refund, it would be a hardship on her. She would lose the hours that she did work for me. The credit card company would probably refund $900. At least that is what I thought would happen. I called a friend and told her about the situation, and she asked me a brilliant question: she asked me how do I want to feel? I was confused by her question, and I told her that I thought she was telling me that I should let the situation go so that I could be free. She said she wasn’t saying that; she was just asking me how I want to feel, knowing that I like to win and that I also know that this person is struggling financially. I told her that I want to feel peace. I do like to win, and I do like the feeling of winning. I also really like to feel peaceful.
This whole experience really helped me to think about how we get when we are struggling to be understood or struggling to get our partner to love us, understand us, or do something for us. So my learning from this experience is that I can really tap into my motivation – my motivation to be at peace, which far exceeds my desire to be right. There is a quote that people often use when talking about relationships: “Do you wanna be right or do you wanna be happy?” I think that this experience sheds new light onto that principle. I want to be happy, and I think that being right is not going to make me as happy as being at peace.
Now, I know that if I get what I want, I’ll find something else that I want, and I will still be pursuing. So the goal for me is to accept and experience peace. For me, peace comes from doing what I think is the right thing to do. So maybe I get to be right and get to be happy.