Meghan Trainer sings ‘Even if I was wrong, you know I’m never wrong, why disagree?” Hindsight is wonderful and now I know I’m usually wrong. Making errors is a way of life for most of us. Hopefully, we can learn from our mistakes and from those of others. I’ve made bad choices, have failed to learn from them and then gone on to doing the same thing again and again. Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results. We are unable to go back in time to fix our mistakes but it would be great if we could. Somehow, we have got to learn from personal past mistakes and those of others, then move on.
Dale Carnegie, author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, tells us to admit our mistakes quickly and with enthusiasm. Much better to have the mistake come out of your mouth rather than someone else’s. If you can put your ego aside and show some vulnerability, take responsibility for your error and accept any punishment owing, it may be easier to resolve the conflict or issue.
If the other party is clearly at fault but you downplay their responsibility, they might grab back ownership from you and insist it was their error. If not, you have helped them save face and left their ego intact. Either way, you get to move on much quicker. In the long term, will it really matter who was wrong or right? If you are waiting around for an apology, you could wait a lifetime. Are you prepared to wait that long? If the relationship is valuable to you, start re-building now.
Always admit when you are wrong.