- If you are wrong, acknowledge your mistake and apologize if needed.
- If you are right, stay quiet. Allow others to sing your praise.
- If others are wrong, let them know about their mistake, but privately and with grace.
- If others are right, celebrate them publicly.
Many people seem to struggle most with rule #1. This one has always come easy to me, mostly because I’ve come to understand its utility.
Apologizing has been a highly effective means of solving problems and avoiding trouble for me. Perhaps I also make more mistakes than most, so I’ve needed to rely on this strategy more often.
If so, I apologize.
Acknowledging mistakes and apologizing are often seen as signs of weakness, but they are actually clear signals of strength. It requires confidence, a strong self esteem, and sometimes even courage to apologize.
Those who struggle with admitting fault and apologizing often see these things as threats to self and ego. Thin-skinned egotists and insecure cowards struggle with apologizing the most. They would rather lie about being right than admit to being wrong.
I have great difficulty with #2, particularly in circumstances when I was right and someone else was wrong.
The problem is simple:
“I told you so” are four of my very favorite words. They are also petty, stupid, and oftentimes counterproductive, but I just can’t help myself.
But like most people, I’m also a work in progress.