Character doesn’t come from never being in the wrong. Character comes from being in the wrong, owning it, and learning from it.

Own It When You’re Wrong – And Own The Self-Respect Too

Hand turns dice and changes the expression "my fault" to "your fault".
Your hand turns the dice. Whose fault is it?

#3 on my, 99 Life Tips – A List is: Own it when you’re wrong. Accepting fault that is yours is the hallmark of character, maturity, and humanity.

”Well I ain’t often right, but I’ve never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in the song.”

~ Grateful Dead: Scarlet Begonias

Why is it that some people have such a difficult time with this one? One of the most widely available avenues to personal growth and character development is simply to admit fault. As this article points out, it is one of the surest paths to both self respect and the respect of others. Own it when you’re wrong! Admit your mistakes. Own it as quickly as you can. Pride goeth before a fall, as the book says. A person who is always right (in their own eyes) has nowhere to go but down.

Is there anyone in your life who cannot admit fault? Do you know anyone who will not say, ”I’m sorry,” ”I was wrong,” ”that one is on me”, or any of the other variants?

God, I despise a blame-shifter. That’s nothing but chasing one mistake with a worse one. This excellent article goes so far as to say it is a form of emotional abuse.

It’s not enough to simply raise your hand and mumble, ”my bad”, when you’re in the wrong. Own that ish… Take responsibility for what you did wrong and for the repercussions. You will forever prove to yourself that you are the kind of person who can. Character doesn’t come from never being in the wrong. Character comes from being in the wrong, owning it, and learning from it. So, own it when you’re wrong. 

Why? Because you’re human, and fallible, and like all of us, you make mistakes. When you step up and own your mistakes, that act says much more about you than the mistake does. It defines you as the kind of person who can acknowledge fault, lay down their ego and pride, and accept responsibility for your contribution to a problem. It makes you trustworthy, approachable, accountable, ethical, and real. In other words, a high-quality person, mistakes notwithstanding.

blame_signpost. His Fault, Her Fault, Their Fault, Not Me

People who think so highly of themselves that they never say, ”I’m sorry”, never accept blame, never take responsibility for things going sideways, are pathetic. They are insecure, immature, and willfully blind to their own shortcomings. Quick to find fault in others, they never let the finger of blame swing around and point at themselves. They are hell-bent on protecting the reputation of an error-free self, non-existent in the real world. 

And we know that’s not you. Naw, you own it when you’re wrong.

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  1. Pingback: 99 Life Tips – A List : Greg Proffit Writing

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