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  • Writer's picturePiper Harris

How To Get Better at Admitting You're Wrong

Admitting that you're wrong might make you feel like a failure or an idiot. But, filling your mind with little checks about how "right" you are will only serve to create a persona people don't trust and don't want to be around. Apologizing might even make your blood pressure rise. But if you want to improve how you handle conflict and grow as an individual, the only way to get better at admitting when you're wrong is to do it.

What is wrong with admitting you're wrong? (Here's what I know...)

  • You're not perfect.

  • You may have a tendency to think you are always right, which causes you to ignore new information and withhold forgiveness when someone makes a mistake.

  • You're maybe more likely to get defensive when someone challenges your ideas or opinions.

  • The good news: It's not just that admitting you were wrong will make others respect and trust you more; it also helps them trust themselves more--and what they know about the world around them!

Why do we have trouble admitting when we're wrong?

There are many reasons why this can be difficult, but the most common ones are:

  • Fear of being judged by others. People don't like to admit when they're wrong because it makes them feel bad about themselves and their actions. If someone points out your mistake, it's likely that you will feel embarrassed or ashamed--and those emotions aren't pleasant at all! In addition, people may also not want to admit their mistakes because they fear what other people will think about them if they do so; perhaps someone else won't trust them as much anymore if he or she finds out about this particular incident (or series of incidents).

  • Fear of losing face/respect from others in society at large (for example, schoolmates). We all want our peers' respect--and sometimes even more than that: We want them all around us kissing up like crazy whenever possible! It might seem counterintuitive at first glance, but actually admitting when things go wrong often means losing some degree.

  • Physical reactions to fear are very real things, and they can pose a huge barrier to admitting mistakes. For example, Sweating, increased heart rate/blood pressure, and trembling in the extremities. This can all be very uncomfortable, especially if you're not used to it--and it's even worse when everyone around you is watching and judging your every move!

Defense Mechanisms that lead to not admitting wrong.

What are defense mechanisms, and why do we use them?

Defense mechanisms are psychological processes that protect us from anxiety, fear, and other uncomfortable emotions. They're how we deal with stress and discomfort when it's too much to handle alone. Freud identified five major defense mechanisms: repression, denial, projection, displacement, and fantasy. These are all ways of dealing with stress that we've learned from a young age. One of the most common ways we use defense mechanisms is to avoid admitting wrong. For example, if you're late for work and don't want your boss to yell at you, it can be easier to blame traffic or something else outside your control than admit that maybe you should have left earlier in the morning.

  • Denial: Denial is a defense mechanism that involves refusing to accept certain realities. It can be conscious or unconscious, but the most common form of denial is when you refuse to acknowledge your own feelings or thoughts about something. For example, if you get angry at someone and then tell yourself it's not because they did something wrong but rather because they upset you on purpose (even though it may have been unintentional), then this would be an example of denial. In relationships where one person has an addiction problem or mental illness and refuses treatment for their illness as well as any accountability for their behavior towards others who care about them, this could lead to denial being used as a way of coping with reality until such time as external pressures force them into action against their own wishes."

  • Deflection is a form of denial where the person using it refuses to accept responsibility for their actions. Instead, they deflect blame onto others who are not present at the time or by making excuses for themselves (such as blaming their illness or past experience for why they behaved in a certain way).

  • Displacement is a form of denial where the person using it redirects their anger at someone or something else onto a less threatening target. For example, if you’re angry with your boss and feel like punching them in the face but know that this would get you into trouble (jail time isn't the way to go); so instead, you glare and glower at your coworker who has nothing to do with your situation.

The characteristics of a person who has difficulty admitting they are wrong.

  • You're a perfectionist.

  • You like to be in control of your surroundings and situations.

  • You are afraid of being judged by others.

  • You don't want to admit that you made a mistake because it would make you look bad (or worse, feel like an idiot).

How to get better at admitting when you are wrong.

If someone points out that you made a mistake or did something wrong, don't get defensive and try to justify your actions. Instead, take the time to think about why they feel this way. If their opinion does not change after some consideration on your part, then apologize for making them feel that way in the first place.

Admitting that you are wrong can be hard, but it's an important part of personal growth and can help you build stronger relationships.

As we get older and more experienced, many of us find ourselves in situations where our opinions or beliefs are challenged by others. In these moments, we often have to choose between changing our minds or sticking to our guns--and either way is uncomfortable.

However, there is a third option: admitting when you're wrong without losing face. This doesn't mean backing down from what matters most; rather, it means admitting that your perspective might need adjusting based on new information or experience. The best way I've found to do this is simply saying, "I'm sorry." If someone brings up a valid point about something I said or did (or didn't do), then saying, "I can see your perspective," show respect for their opinion while simultaneously reaffirming my own belief system at the same time--a win-win!

Don't make excuses for your behavior; just acknowledge that it happened.

Give yourself some time to decompress after you screw up.

If you've made a mistake, it's important to give yourself some time to decompress before you try to fix the problem. Don't immediately jump into fixing the problem, and don't get angry or defensive when someone points out your error. In fact, try not to get defensive at all because this will only make things worse and make it harder for people around you to trust that they can come to you for help when they need it.

Instead of getting angry or defensive, take some deep breaths and relax! It's okay if a mistake happens once in a while--everyone makes them occasionally--so don't beat yourself up over it either (this will only make matters worse). And finally: don't blame others for your mistakes; that just makes everyone uncomfortable around each other, which leads nowhere good!

Think about how you can avoid making the same mistake again in the future.

When you're able to admit that you were wrong, it's important to think about how you can avoid making the same mistake again in the future.

For example: If I'm writing an article and my editor tells me that it's too long, I may be tempted to argue with him or her and say that the article is perfect as-is. But if I take some time away from my work and return to it later with fresh eyes (or even just sleep on it), then maybe I'll agree with my editor after all!

For this tactic to work well for us, we need two things: firstly, self-awareness so we know when something is going wrong; secondly, self-control so we don't get defensive when someone points out our error.

Admitting when you're wrong is hard, but it's not impossible -- and it's actually a sign of great character.

It's easy to feel like admitting when you're wrong is a sign of weakness. In fact, many people believe that admitting they were wrong means they should be ashamed of themselves and their actions.

But this isn't true at all! Admitting when you're wrong is actually one of the best ways to show that you have good character and maturity -- two things that are important in any relationship (including friendships). In fact, if someone won't admit when they've made a mistake or done something wrong, then it's likely because they don't want to take responsibility for their actions or own up to them; this behavior can indicate an unwillingness on their part to grow as a person or improve themselves in any way at all!

Admitting when we've made mistakes shows others who we truly are: honest people who aren't afraid of taking responsibility for our actions, even if those actions might seem embarrassing or difficult for others around us (or even ourselves).

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