I really hate when I’m wrong. Unfortunately for me, I am wrong a lot. As a matter of fact, I have been wrong enough that I consider myself an expert in how to deal with being wrong. I am sure I will have a chance to practice the advice I am about to give sooner than later.
As soon as you realize you are wrong, immediately acknowledge that you are wrong. If you are in an argument and realize that you are wrong, don’t wait for tempers to cool. The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to recover and to be forgiven. There is no better way to diffuse an argument than to admit when you are wrong.
The other night, my wife was reviewing with me planning for the weekend. “Shark Tank” happened to be on TV. She asked me if I was listening, and of course I said that I was. I truly thought that I was watching a TV show and listening to her at the same time. If you know me you know how ridiculous it was for me to believe I could do both. After a little while of defending myself I realized that I really wasn’t paying attention. I was wrong. I apologized and after some well-deserved chastising I was forgiven. What if I “dug my heals” in after I realized I was wrong? It would not have been a good night.
When you sincerely admit when you are wrong, any reasonable person is going to have some compassion for you. People appreciate when you are humble enough to admit you are wrong. They also are more likely to give in a little.
So what if you aren’t wrong? What does it hurt if you still accept responsibility? Ask yourself if it is going to make a difference in the long run. Would you rather be known for being right or for putting the relationship first and accept responsibility? When it won’t make a difference, why not take the high road. After all you certainly share some of the responsibility for letting the disagreement get this far.
When have you been wrong and had to admit it?
When has someone admitted that they were wrong? How did you react?