dmitting mistakes is normally difficult because there seems to be an impetus that pushes our minds to protect our ego and self-image as if it is a sort of defence mechanism. Refusing to conform and acknowledge a mistake can make our pride gratified like clinging so much to our principles. In many cases, conflicts prolong because no one wants to wave the white flag and just drop the conversation right up. We have not yet cultivated a world where it is normalised to admit to being wrong and make honest mistakes.
Before we can tap ways on how to accept a mistake, let us go back in time by reminiscing about the days when we were taught language. English is a kind language and speech indicates your level of understanding, the principles you have acquired, and the morals you are grounded with.
We learned the appropriate tone and manner when saying “Sorry”, “I apologise”, “I have to admit that I was wrong” and “I never intended it that way”, these are all beautiful words that never made it to common casual conversations because the society, in reality, loathes imperfections and shortcomings. A paradox that logically is incorrect since the many things we actually enjoy now came from multiple errors in pursuit to reach somewhat higher standards if not perfection. The thing is that there is really no room for perfection because perfection indicates the last stage of simply anything.
The smartphones we take advantage of even need an update to further improve their functionality, your favourite recipe despite being adored by many can still be improved if found a new discovery, decisions and choices you made can be proven disadvantageous now but later on can turn out well — these resonate to the undermined fact that times are ever-changing and it is time that we need to keep up with. It may take some time to sew admission of wrongs in our culture, only time will tell but at some point, we have to realise that if the person who you are speaking with is someone you find value, admitting you are wrong can spare you from psychological issues and broken relationships that are potential threats to your overall mental health.
Understand that conflicts may arise because of different factors and one of which is the presence of cognitive dissonance. This describes the mental unease upon reception of two conflicting ideas, beliefs, values, or attitudes because oftentimes, people seek consistency and parallelism towards their own perception. It makes someone psychologically stressed being in a situation since most people always assume they need to immediately respond to everything presented to them.
Understanding levels of individuals vary. When they do not understand it on the onset, do not impose. Hold or allow a moment of peace. Realisation and learning cannot be possible having participants who are unrest. When your emotions have successfully subsided, accept the situation and let go of grudges. Practice agreeing to silently disagree not because you are waving the white flag but because you respect the conventions of conversation and that you are well-mannered to understand how others comprehend differently. By doing so, you are recognising that the forces of cognitive dissonance are present and it needs you to respond deliberately. This can go a long way in preserving your sense of identity and self-respect. You do not always need to prove something.
Resisting the urge to fight back can also feel gratifying. Okimoto, Wenzel, and Hedrick (2012) found out that one’s refusal to apologise can also boost his or her self-esteem and lead to an increase in feelings of power and control as well as to value integrity. This could be due to the fact that apologies give extra power to those who receive them. However, this ego boost from refusal can be short-lived and uncelebrated since it can also ruin relationships and cause a backlash.
In your silence, analyse the situation and explore an impartial perspective for learning and discovery. Do not make the mistake of adding more fire to the burn by carelessly lambasting and bringing your points to the table. Conversations like such are usually endless in trying to pinpoint what “should” be right or wrong. The more words you contribute to the table, the more that your weakness shows. Allow your self-discipline to take over.
Offer an apology. This is an aspect that most people think is a sign of weakness. It is not. Only a strong and mentally stable person can recognise when an apology needs to be placed. Apologies make up for the dignity of those who felt hurt. Voicing an apology out ensures that the other person knows that you are conforming to their judgment, understand how it was rooted or where it came from, and help them feel better about themselves. Apologies magnify resolution to any verbal kung-fu, it is pretty much like capping the whole thing already. It repairs your relationship and gives each other comfortability to go back to right before any argument without reservations and grudges.
Relationships are great sources of stress relief. Ironically, it is what can also cause a considerable amount of stress having to juggle between beliefs and personal judgments. However, this should be taken as a perfect avenue to practice and set the bar for handling the admission of business mistakes. By being open to that idea, the people who you are with can learn from you and your ways. Lead by example. Because, these days, the commonality is that others still believe that saying an apology is directly associated with acceptance of guilt and responsibility for the conflict that involved all the mistakes of both parties. They think that an apology shall mean that the other person does not have to take responsibility for their own part in the tension. That should not be the case. When you are apologising, it can still mean a lot of different things. In most cases, apologies just help to put the conflict behind so that people can move on from it easily.
Wrongs, common mistakes, irregularities, shortcomings -they all are not just a blunder in nature. Alternatively, they are a series of choices that contribute to failure. With that, you have to pay attention to the errors, no matter how small or big they may be and realise that each mistake can pose as an opportunity to solidify your grounds, increase mental understanding and become better.
About Author: Bash Sarmiento is a writer and an educator from Manila. He writes laconic pieces in the education, lifestyle, and health realms. His academic background and extensive experience in teaching, textbook evaluation, business management, and travelling are translated into his works.
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