You didn’t want to look like an idiot.
It wasn’t your fault. (Not completely.)
You feel like you were right.
You’re in charge. Why should you have to placate someone beneath you?
If any of this sounds familiar, you may have trouble apologizing or admitting when you’re wrong. This may be causing problems with your relationships, or your job.
Here’s the thing: Being right is not always important, especially when a valuable relationship is on the line. If you are asked why you always need to be right, or if you frequently feel challenged and misunderstood, take a moment to consider what leads up to these moments. Is there a pattern?
The need to be right often stems from a deep insecurity that you have not yet recognized or worked through. Until this is recognized, it will continually breed conflict in your life.
Admitting you’re wrong and apologizing can be scary. Doing so can threaten your sense of self and any barriers you’ve established to protect your feelings. Being wrong is embarrassing. It feels bad. But ultimately, it can be a good thing because it forces you to evolve and ultimately become more comfortable in your own skin.
3 great reasons to admit you’re wrong:
- It shows humility. Humility is not a sign of a weakness but one of maturity and grace. Being able to embrace your mistakes and learn from them is important for growth and resilience. It helps you bounce back from tough situations.
- It cultivates respect from others. It may seem counterintuitive, but showing vulnerability is actually a sign of strength. Some of the best leaders are able to admit their faults, learn from them, and change their behavior. It shows a constant desire to improve yourself and set an example for others—and people respect that.
- It makes you happier. When you are able to let go of your pride and respect other people’s feelings, you can feel liberated in a way. Knowing that nothing bad will happen if you’re “wrong”—and that someone else might feel better because of it—can help you feel more confident in yourself.
Winning vs. learning
At many points in our lives, we can grow tired of learning. We’d like to think we have it all figured out, or we may be comfortable and safe in our ways of thinking and not want to disturb that. But as the old saying goes, “Never stop learning because learning never stops.”
The next time you “win” an argument, ask yourself if the result was worth it. Did someone get hurt in the process? Was winning more important than the thing that was lost? Did you learn anything? Only you can determine the answers, but know that your answers will define the future of your relationships.