Accepting and Apologizing When You Are Wrong
As human beings, we are prone to errors. We are imperfect beings and would always make mistakes. We all have defining qualities and behaviors which differentiate us from each other and sometimes lead to friction between us. Making a mistake is only natural; an inevitable occurrence. What is not inevitable or cannot be predicted is having the courage to accept, admit and apologize for our mistake(s).
Very few people are able to do all those three things easily and this does not augur well for those who find it hard. Let us then find things to do to help us know when we are in the wrong, accept we are and apologize properly. Yes, I said properly. An apology is only worth it if it is sincere.
1. Find out the Reason of Your Mistake:
When we are lashing out in anger, cheating on our partner, lying to our loved ones, we are conscious of what we are doing; we know what we are doing and the consequences. What we do not really think on, even when we accept we are wrong, is why we did what we did. Knowing why we made a mistake or wronged someone is a crucial step towards avoiding a re-occurrence of that incident. Yes, you have to learn to accept your mistakes but you must first think about the reason behind you made it in the first place.
2. Your Mistakes Do Not Define You:
Everyone falls short every once in a while but these few moments of weakness are not their defining attributes. You are a person with good qualities and hidden talents, and your life or personality will not be judged by your mistakes if they are just one-offs and not repeated. If this is so, you should never be afraid of admitting them because, in truth, no man has grown up without making mistakes or stumbling along the way.
You garner respect when you are known as one who does not shy away from taking responsibility for his/her mistake because we all know it takes guts to admit that one is in the wrong.
3. Realise That You Are In The Wrong:
We justify our wrongs even when they are being pointed out to us. We tend to be defensive or become smart-alecks about it, preferring to either justify it or straight out deny we are in the wrong.Take a moment to think about it. The person pointing out your mistake to you is not a retard. S/he might not be totally right but a point is being made and you would do well to listen and think about it objectively.
Let’s say you smoke a lot and your family says you should quit smoking but instead you justify it by saying “you smoke because you are stressed or have a lot of pressure!”, but is this right? Do people not survive stressful situations without smoking? Do you understand that they have a point by asking you to quit?
4. Empathise with others:
If you have wronged someone, or hurt them knowingly or unknowingly, put yourself in their place and think, how would you feel if the same thing is done to you?
When you understand this and are able to empathize, you would see your wrong clearly and abstain from repeating it.
5. Learn from your Mistakes:
Making mistakes is a part and parcel of living, and they are for learning purposes only. Not to be repeated or turned into a lifestyle choice. For instance, if you don’t study well, you would get poor grades. So rather than crying about it, why don’t we improve ourselves!
6. It is never too late to say sorry:
Our ego sometimes comes between us apologizing after realizing a mistake. It stops us for a myriad of reasons and this should not be so. But, you know what! There is nothing to be ashamed of, nor is there anything to be proud of. Apologise still even if you feel too much time has passed since the incident. Always try to make things right. We lose many of our close friends because we didn’t say sorry or make things right.
7. Write it down if you can’t say it:
It might sound like an old-school idea but if you think you have made a mistake and you are unable to admit it verbally, write it down. For instance, if you lose a job opportunity, you can write it down, why it happened, and how you feel about it.
If the need to apologise arises, and you find it hard to say it, write a letter. The advantage of this is you are able to give a full apology without the risk of being interrupted.
8. Don’t Blame Others For Your Mistakes:
Blaming others for your mistakes is cowardly and the worst thing you could do to yourself. By doing this, you are running away from taking a good look at yourself and correcting your mistakes. If you keep at this, you would never fully grow up
9. Let Bygones be Bygones:
After all is said and done, there is no point spending an inordinate amount of time thinking on and regretting your mistakes. Realise, accept, apologize and move on, because the past can’t be changed, and you still have the present and future to live. The most important part of accepting your mistake is changing or else your apologies would seize to be accepted or have meaning.