Raise your hands if you are perfect!
My hands stay down.
Have you seen a self-righteous man or woman?
He or she is commanding, controlling and difficult to change.
In addition, self-righteous people enthusiastically display some of the following characteristics:
- Self-righteous people are often judgmental and consider themselves better than others.
- Their opinions are correct simply because it is coming from them; it doesn’t really matter what others think.
- They are not good at listening, and when they do they choose to hear only what support their image of rightness. They must get their points across even forcefully, giving little listening ears to others.
- Self-righteous people always believe their suggestions merit consideration and often expect their decisions to be final.
- They may have excessive admiration of themselves and find it difficult to show appreciation.
- When a misunderstanding arises as a result of their actions, they prefer to stick to the “how” of your response rather than the “why”; striving to maintain rightness.
- They desire and welcome apologies from others but hardly apologize sincerely, even when they know they are wrong.
- Self righteous people are most interested in themselves and only interested in others to the degree that others support their image of rightness.
But why did you just read that? It is because relationship problems can be rooted in self-righteousness. You can guide against it.
Take the verdict
Now that you know who a self-righteous person is, do you think you have a self-righteous boyfriend or girlfriend?
Wait, before you conclude, be sure that you are not self-righteous yourself.
Because self-righteous people are the ones most likely to view others as self-righteous. And this virus has destroyed many relationships.
The first thing to do when you view your partner to be self-righteous is to look in the mirror.
You are vindicated of self-righteously accusing your partner of being self-righteous if:
You see your partner as a person with an issue, rather than a convenient object of blame.
Irrespective of their attitude, you recognize and admit when they have a valid point.
You can easily forget their self-righteousness and focus on the issue at hand.
So now what do you think, are you vindicated?
If you are guilty of self-righteousness then you are an equal contribution to the problem even if your partner is guilty as well. In that case, the work begins with you.
When you are vindicated
If with sincere conviction you consider yourself not to be a part of the problem, the only straightforward solution is to ignore your partner’s self-righteousness.
Because they are not going to change, at least not easily and completely.
Self-righteousness is an attribute that is deep-rooted in the personality of the self-righteous person. Some of even go as far as using pheromones for men to overcome it by looking sweet to their girls.
Most times even when they know it, they wouldn’t admit they are self-righteous. Self-righteousness cannot be easily changed, and if at all it would, it takes time.
The change would have to begin with you making your partner realize that they are self-righteous. This is often difficult especially because they feel they are always right.
The immediate solution is for you to accept your partner as they are. Accept their good ideas, reject the bad ones and do not be easily annoyed with their take on things.
To not be annoyed is difficult, so be careful not to allow their self-righteousness to destroy your inner peace. A good learnable practice is to not let your annoyance last for long.
Never allow your self-righteous partner to determine how you think and feel, or to think and feel for you. They may throw their projection of who you are to you, expecting you to believe. If you fall to this trap, you may soon begin to doubt yourself.
Once they conquer you through such false projections, they could exert great influence over your feelings and thoughts. To avoid self-sabotage, stand your ground and do not bend to their rules.
This would no doubt result in constant quarrels and unnecessary misunderstanding but nonetheless, stick to it.
When they can’t have it their way, they will choose you reluctantly. “Let’s do it your way”, they may say with sadness, admitting to their self-righteousness.
While maintaining this strategy, you should enlarge your listening ears. You become more like your self-righteous partner if you close the door of communication against them. And that will work against the progress of the relationship.
Listen to them sincerely, recognize and admit their valid points, but don’t give way to their much-desired need to control.
It is important not only to listen attentively but to ask the right questions and ensure the conversation doesn’t become a one-sided one especially if she is your girlfriend. You can get nice questions to ask a girl here.
Implement the valid suggestions regardless of whether it would be appreciated or not.
You won’t have it easy. They will fight hard, pointing out why they are right and you are wrong.
You will be lectured on what you need to improve on, which really means what they want you to become – their subject. You will hear nothing from them about where they feel they need to do better – that’s what makes them self-righteous.
In all of that, listen but don’t yield to them. You have a greater purpose – to create a leveled ground for your relationship to strive on.
Over time, through this strategy, you may get your self-righteous partner to be less self-righteous, acknowledging their weaknesses and demonstrate a willingness to learn.
They could become a better listener, and be more objective in their reasoning and decision-making.