Sunday, December 5, 2010
Admitting You're Wrong
Identity is really only a collection of ideas each person has about him or herself. Included in these ideas are beliefs about ourselves, beliefs about others, values that we believe we should adhere to, expectations we have of ourselves (and others) and our behaviors, etc. Some people expect themselves not to make mistakes. To admit to making a mistake is to admit that they aren't living up to their own expectations, i.e., that they are "not good enough." Other people believe they should never show weakness to others. They equate being wrong with being weak. Thus, even if they know they are wrong they'd never admit it because to do so would make them seem weak and vulnerable.
The inability to accept criticism stems from self doubt. Confident people accept themselves as they are. They recognize that they have both strengths and limitations. They accept that they are human. Thus, when they are wrong they can admit it because they are, after all, only human.
The irony in this is that people who cannot accept constructive criticism are the very people who could benefit the most from it. Criticism provides a person with important information about his or her personal weaknesses that he or she would probably not otherwise recognize. This helps a person to identify areas for personal growth, which is, in my opinion, something we should all be striving for.