When You Are Wrong, Admit It

When You Are Wrong, Admit It

Excuses are not the answer.

April 3, 2021

It is never easy to be in the wrong. When we were kids, we get scolded if we do something wrong, which may have led us to learn to make excuses. Sometimes, I still meet people who behave like kids; they make excuses instead of admitting their mistakes.

In this article, we'll look at how we should handle this situation like an adult.

Excuses are pathetic

When people make mistakes, one of the most common reaction is to defend themselves. Rather than focusing on fixing the problem, they focus on saving their face. It is understandable since they might not realise yet that they were wrong. However, this response to mistakes is not going to help anyone.

If you feel the need to explain yourself, chances are you already know that you are in the wrong. So what should you do instead? Admit that you're wrong.

Admitting that you're wrong

Now, if you know that you are at fault, the easiest way to admit it is to come clean with it as soon as possible. Don't delay the conversation or pretend that you forgot about it. Once you got rid of the guilt feeling, things will get easier.

Think about what the other party would say to you. It is much easier to hear those things from yourself as self-criticism rather than hearing it from another person. Sure, they might add an item or two, but the chance are higher for them to forgive and appreciate you more for coming clean.

There is a certain degree of satisfaction in having the courage to admit one's errors. It not only clears the air of guilt and defensiveness but often helps solve the problem created by the error.  

From the book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie.

Listen to understand

Whether you're wrong, right, or not sure about it – listen. Hear what the others think, and don't go straight into explaining yourself. Instead, ask questions and try to see things from their perspective. What is it that you did wrong? How was it supposed to be? How can we fix this? What are their expectations?

Upon asking questions and discussing the topic, you will be able to better understand each other. Who knows, it might turn out that you were right all along.

After the conversation, you'll understand more about the mistakes you've made, their expectations, and how to fix the problems. At this point, Whether you're right or wrong no longer matters. what's more important is to fix the problem and come up with a solution. 

It is not shameful to admit mistakes.

If you are in the wrong, why bother explaining yourself? You'll still end up being wrong. Just Admit that you are wrong as soon as you know you are. Then, ask questions and listen to their point of view and their expectations for you. Shift your focus to fix the problems instead.

When we make mistakes, we run dozens of scenarios of what could happen if we got caught. But most of the time, it won't be as bad as we thought it would be.

Admitting that you are wrong is never easy. However, delaying it will only make the experience worse. So don't overthink about it and just get over it quickly. Remember, other people are also human; they make mistakes too.

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