If you have to choose between being right and being kind, be kind.
And you'll be right every time.
I don't recall where I first read this, but it has stuck with me because the simplicity and beauty of it is elegant. Don't you think that as a guiding principle, it's so easy to use this to check in on ourselves in any situation where we find ourselves digging in our heels to prove a point? Or when we are on the verge of taking action that we know would hurt someone, whether that hurt would be mental, emotional or physical. How easy to stop ourselves ... and check in. "Am I just trying to be 'right'?"
Recently in my Arhatic Yoga group we had a short discussion about pride. Our teacher, Master Choa Kok Sui, teaches that pride is the greatest obstacle on the spiritual path. I see the spiritual path as equivalent to living as a good human, and can see how pride is a great obstacle to being a good human. While there is positive, healthy, self-esteem aspect of pride, the negative side of pride is what this is about. The negative aspects of pride are rooted in "me;" about asserting "self-importance." Think about it for a moment: recall the last time you were engaged in a conversation (or argument) with a friend or loved one, and you were adamant that you were "right" or that they ought to see it your way. If you look deeply at yourself in that moment, why did you need so much to feel right? What type of acknowledgement were you seeking that you weren't receiving? And who was the one needing that acknowledgement ... your true essence/pure self or your personality/ego self?
It's not to say that triggering won't happen; of course it will. We ALL have pride, and needs for self-acknowledgement. What's important is to be able to recognize when this is arising, and be willing to take one step back from that personality-self, to get a clearer view on what is the most loving and kind response for everyone involved (including ourself!). Sometimes the best response is no response; or a response that says "let's come back to this in a little bit."
Keep in mind, too, that acts of kindness release the hormone oxytocin in your system. Oxytocin is one of the bodies four feel-good hormones. Doing kind things makes you happy! And the happier you are, the happier people around you are too. You know how contagious a smile is? Kindness is the same.
"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.
Be the living expression of God's kindness:
kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile."
~ Mother Teresa