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  Are You Too Self-Righteous?

Find Out If You Are, How It Can Hurt You & What To Do

By www.sedona.com

Bonnie's Note: I found this article within an hour of talking to my best friend, Speed, about my awareness that sometimes I come from a place that sounds self-righteous, even to me when I'm talking. You can read about my latest wake-up call to my becoming more sensitive to this behavior, in today's blog posting.

People who are self-righteous may defend their need to instill their beliefs on others as simply standing up for what they believe in. However, self-righteousness veers off from expressing your beliefs in a few key ways, namely that self-righteous people believe they are always right, superior and more knowledgeable than those around them.

Self-righteousness can drive people to squelch the dreams of their friends (you’ll never be able to do that!), offend people at work (that idea is ridiculous!), and alienate family members (you’re going to marry him?!). They offer their opinions even when they’re not wanted, and feel compelled to make you agree with said opinions, because, after all, they are the right ones.

And while it is possible to be just a little self-righteous and therefore not cause much offense to anyone, people who are too self-righteous may:

  • Be quick to judge others
  • Belittle those around them
  • Be smug
  • Act condescending
  • Be narrow-minded
  • Be intolerant of other people’s faults
  • Believe that they have the answer for everyone else’s problems

Meanwhile, self-righteous people often have a very hard time being empathetic. They only view the world through their own eyes, and cannot even fathom walking in someone else’s shoes.

But aside from the risk of annoying or insulting the people in their lives, people who are too self-righteous are also too sure of their own opinions. In other words, they will stick to them at any cost, and often refuse to hear opposing arguments. They will also never change their opinions based on new information they have received, with the end result being a very closed, intolerant and often prejudiced realm of experience.

“If you feel you are right you automatically create the artificial tension of right and wrong. This causes you to feel like you have to defend your position and ignore the other position, lest you be proved wrong. This blocks open and honest communication,” says Hale Dwoskin, CEO and director of training of Sedona Training Associates.

If you recognize some of these traits in yourself, realize that having a closed existence (and putting off other’s beliefs) can cause you to miss opportunities at work and in your personal life.

What often drives excess self-righteousness is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of losing control, fear of realizing you may have been wrong. But if you release this fear by tapping into your inner ability to let go of negative emotions, you will find that being more open-minded and less judgmental is actually freeing.

The Sedona Method can also help you to release the need to always be right so that you can experience empathy and welcome the thoughts, ideas and opinions of those around you.

“One of the best ways to move beyond wanting to be right is to let go of wanting to be right and be open to a solution or resolution beyond right or wrong,” Dwoskin says. “Then everyone wins – including you.”

And remember, by letting go of self-righteousness, you are opening yourself to a richer, more fulfilling life.

If you're going through a tough transition and don't want to go it alone, Lifelines to Laughlines might be the program you've been looking for.

To learn more:

Strategies for Going Through a Tough Transition
Resources: Books, articles, podcasts, websites, quotes and more to accompany you on your journey.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Program and Introduction.
Meet Life Coaches Bonnie & Lynn, Lifelines co-creators and guides.
Bonnie's Blog, Embracing Tough Transitions

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