How to Admit When We Are Wrong
Admitting when you are in the wrong goes against what our brains and bodies are designed to do, but creates amazing effects when successfully accomplished.
It’s human nature to protect ourselves. We have so many innate defense mechanisms that were put in place to keep us from experiencing life-threatening moments. However, in this case, these techniques do more harm than good.
The primary reason we have a difficult time admitting that we are wrong is because our competency is put into question by our failure. But, why does that happen? It’s because we have a tendency to speak in superlatives. And that first time when we are expressing our opinion, we often do so in a stronger way than we actually mean, and our stance must remain fixed to support that statement. We overcompensate for our position and become more narrow-minded out of fear that we will be viewed as worse. The first thing to do to overcome this defense mechanism is to create an environment that welcomes a debate in the way you phrase your stance. Say something like, “I realize I don’t know the full picture”, or, “This is just my take on the situation”, to create an inclusive environment.
And then after that, when the moment does come to admit you are wrong, do it sooner rather than later. The longer the conversation goes without you conceding, cements you deeper into your stance, and makes it that much harder to pull your way out.
People respect when we can admit when we are wrong. It is a sign of strength and confidence. Just another tip for us to think about as we are on our pursuit of personal development.