o you enjoy being proved wrong and forced to apologize? That’s right, not everyone does. A mistake might be as minute as “I have picked out everything we need for this journey.”
Only to realize this wasn’t the case, or maybe intenser, like arriving late for a company’s business meeting. It can be trivial, such as spilling coffee on a clean slab or a crucial one, like saying
“Yes, my Lord, that man is a criminal” in a theft case, only to realize the accused is innocent. While some individuals are willing to nip the wrong in the bud and admit their wrongs, a few are more interested in proving why they are incapable of mistakes.
Let’s explore the reasons why certain people will never admit they were wrong…
There are several reasons why people attempt to escape the truth and don’t admit they were wrong. This depends on the magnitude and complexity of the matter. The higher the consequence, the more unlikely it is for a person to own up to their blunders.
As the name implies, mental rigidity is a psychological state where an individual is set on old habits. This mindset prevents the person from appreciating others or admitting their own mistakes. Many believe admitting mistakes and apologizing is a sign of weakness. Consequently, due to popular phrases like “stand your ground” and “be a man of your words,” etc., people tend to think it is a sign of strength to stand tall and not apologize even when wrong.
Carol Anne Travis, an American social psychologist and co-author of the book; “In Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts”, writes, “Most people, when directly confronted by evidence that they are wrong, do not change their point of view or course of action, but justify it even more tenaciously. Even irrefutable evidence is rarely enough to pierce the mental armor of self-justification.”
The second reason is, yet again, psychological. When a person’s ego is fragile, they feel threatened when someone hands them their “wrong ticket”. They can’t bear the “mark” of being proved “wrong.”
It is mentally impossible for a person with this mentality to take responsibility because their self-esteem doesn’t allow for such inconvenience. Their minds start to cook up manipulative statements to defend their shielded self-esteem from shattering.
Unconscious strategies initiate and protect the person from distressed feelings and thoughts.
These reasons are obviously intertwined. Some people are stubborn due to psychological rigidity and a delicate ego. It refers to the combination of these two and other such complications that weaken a person mentally. Stubborn people never admit they were wrong, even after presenting facts, reasons, and persuasion. They stick to their opinion or decision, no matter how the pendulum swings.
Now, dealing with such people isn’t always a peaches and ice-cream scenario, it requires work. They often try to manipulate people’s weak points to satisfy their egos. However, setting boundaries around your relations can help.
We all need to understand that not accepting our wrongdoings and refusing to apologize are not signs of strength, but could be due to a weak mental constitution and condition.
“These are the signs of a psychologically weak person whose mind is compelling him for such actions and statements,” wrote best-selling author John Bradshaw in his book “Healing the Shame that Binds You”. He adds; “Because it takes courage and strength to admit your mistakes, apologize to people you’ve wronged, and learn from the experience.”
Since the earliest period of our life was preverbal, everything depended on emotional interactions. Without someone to reflect and guide our emotions, we had little access to healthy self-awareness.
Writer Guy Winch further buttresses the point in his article; “People who repeatedly exhibit this kind of behavior are, by definition, psychologically fragile. However, that assessment is often difficult for people to accept, because to the outside world, they look as if they’re confidently standing their ground and not backing down, things we associate with strength.”
He further adds, “But psychological rigidity is not a sign of strength, it is an indication of weakness. These people are not choosing to stand their ground; they’re compelled to do so to protect their fragile egos.”
: Admitting we are wrong is unpleasant; it is bruising for any ego. It takes a certain amount of emotional strength and courage to deal with that reality and own up to our mistakes. Most of us sulk a bit when we have to admit we’re wrong, but we get over it.”
Undoubtedly, it takes courage and strength to admit your mistakes, apologize to people you’ve wronged, and learn from the experiences but that’s where the real strength lies.
“It’s okay to make mistakes. Mistakes are our teachers – they help us to learn.” ~John Bradshaw