Reasons Why It’s Hard to Admit Your Mistakes

No one is perfect and we are all wrong at one time or another. Admitting to being wrong is really hard even for the average person. There are some reasons why it’s hard to admit your mistakes and that you were not right.


The human by nature is an ego drive being. At a very young age when the personality begins to develop as well as the concept of self-image people form the views, they have about themselves. Most people think they are pretty device and always try to do their best.


When a person makes a mistake there is a gap between the behavior that they are exhibiting and their self-concepts. To admit a mistake is to have to reevaluate self-concepts which can question the entire personality. At this time the ego goes into defense mode by nature as a defense mechanism. When the ego is threatened it is hard to admit a mistake. Self-justification happens in order to make the action acceptable even if you know that you were wrong.


Admitting to a mistake is called cognitive dissonance by a psychologist. This is when person experiences stress because they believe in one thing or have a certain opinion about a subject and their actions went against it. For example, many people think they are good and decent to others. When they are rude to someone dissonance is experienced. In order to cope with this experience, the mind tries to justify it and may even blame the other person. This is why many people have such trouble admitting that they are wrong.


If a person realizes they have made a mistake the mind and the ego also try to justify it. The feeling of dissonance is very uncomfortable and the mind tries to reduce this feeling right away.


When you need to admit that you made a mistake or did something wrong the mind has to accept the dissonance. This feeling is unpleasant and for many, it can be uncomfortable. Research has found that people that do not admit they have made a mistake often have higher self-esteem and feel that they are in control. When you apologize to another you are giving the other person some power.


The human mind does not like to lose power. Power is not always a good thing. While a person may feel good in for the short term that they have power there can be long-term consequences. Refusing to admit to a mistake can put many personal relationships in jeopardy. While being wrong is uncomfortable a person has to give up the power and say that they have made a mistake.

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People have trouble admitting their mistakes due to nature. Self-image was designed to allow a person to have confidence in themselves and to act in a certain way. When a behavior goes against this many people feel threatened. It is not just that we want to be right all the time. Admitting to a mistake makes you admit to a personality flaw and question your thoughts and beliefs.