I'm Sorry. No, Say I'm Right

Admit it.  When you're fighting with your spouse, an apology isn't really what you're after.  It's his agreeing that you were right. 

A new study has found that we don't really want an apology -- though they're nice.  We want the power relinquished back to us.  We want to hear those heavenly (and often withheld) words, "You were right." 

"Giving up power comes in many forms, among them giving a partner more independence, admitting faults, showing respect and being willing to compromise," newswise.com reports, citing the study, which is published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

“It’s common for partners to be sensitive to how to share power and control when making decisions in their relationship,” newswise.com quoted researcher Keith Sanford, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences.
So it's not about sticking out your tongue and going, "Nah, nah, nah," like I often want to do, when I'm (occasionally) proven right.  It's more about the boring stuff -- acknowledging that the other had a point, you respect his opinion, you understand his position, yada, yada.  But hey, you were right!

"We definitely respond to whether we gain or lose status,” Sanford said in the newswise.com article. “When we feel criticized, we are likely to have underlying concerns about a perceived threat to status, and when that happens, we usually want a partner simply to disengage and back off.”

I grew up in a family where the father was always right. No matter what, my father reigned over everything. He could tell you it was going to snow when the temperature was 80, and you had to say he was right.

That was pretty aggravating, but now I'm having to take it from the younger generation, like my
son -- who just know they're right, even though, at this very minute, he's trying to slide up the suddenly immovable part on his flash drive that will allow him to plug it into the computer to show me the new video game he's just created...even though I know, in about 15 minutes, he will accept my suggestion -- to go to Staples and buy a new one (and see if someone there can help us unstick the drive).

But he's stubborn and insisting he can do it so I'll just wait.

In the study 455 couples married from one year to 55 were interviewed and -- oh, sorry.  Off to Staples to get the flash drive.


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