This question was asked in one of the first self-improvement seminars we ever took, and it had quite a profound impact. It was mind-boggling to think about the amount of needless suffering we had inflicted upon ourselves in relationships, simply by being attached to our position. It must be human nature, because everybody seems to be doing it. As individuals, each of us has our own ideas and opinions. So what’s wrong with that?

Nothing – until we try to impose our ideas and opinions on others. Remember, they’re individuals too, and they have their own ideas and opinions, just like we do. That’s the beauty of being human. We’ve got all these wonderfully unique individuals walking around, openly expressing themselves and joyfully interacting with one another. Until someone says something they don’t agree with, or does something they don’t appreciate.

A great example is this fabulous blog format, which provides an extensive forum for expressing our individual ideas and opinions, as well as the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue about the ideas and opinions expressed. All too often, this process seems to quickly degenerate into commenters disrespecting themselves and others by putting down the poster – or other commenters – for what they have expressed. If you think we might be talking about you, take a look at your contribution here on Huffington. Do you express yourself in a respectful manner, or are you prone to petty put-downs? If you find yourself in the latter category, let us ask you a question: How’s that working for you?

It may be working just fine for you here on the blogosphere – you’re probably getting plenty of kudos from all the other disrespectful commenters – but what about in the real world? We’d be willing to bet that the way you express yourself here on the web is not that much different from the way you interact in your day-to-day relationships (either that, or you keep quiet, and do all your judging inside your own head). So how is it working in your relationships? Are you happy?

We’re not here to judge you – this is just something to think about. If it hits home, great, then you can start deciding what you’d like to do about it. And if you are happy, that’s great too. Lord knows, many a successful career has been built on the art of the well-crafted put-down. That could be your calling in life, and far be it for us to take that away from you. All we’re saying is that asking ourselves these questions has been extremely valuable, and we’ve found that the more we let go of our urge to be right, the happier we are in our relationships. Can anyone else relate to this?

Many Blessings,

Keith and Maura

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Author's Bio: 

Keith Leon and Maura Leon are co-owners of Successful Communications consulting and training, and co-authors of The Seven Steps to Successful Relationships. In less than two years, Keith and Maura went from relationship failures to the relationship of their dreams, and now they share their secrets with others through their website, newsletters, seminars, and coaching. They have appeared on popular radio and television broadcasts, including The Rolonda Watts show and the Shelley Martin show, and their work has been covered by newspapers such as the Minneapolis–St. Paul Star Tribune and the Maryland Herald-Mail.

Keith and Maura have more than twenty-five years of combined training and experience in the field of personal and professional development. They’ve worked with leading experts of transformation, including Jack Canfield, Byron Katie, Michael Beckwith, Terry Cole-Whittaker, John Gray, Barbara DeAngelis and T. Harv Eker. As professional speakers, life coaches and authors, they support both men and women in the areas of career, family, community and love relationships. Their passion is building personal and professional relationships that work.

On Keith and Maura’s website at you’ll find an abundance of information and resources, including interactive quizzes, informational downloads, audio and video recordings, and much, much more!