Nobody’s perfect, and everyone’s bound to commit mistakes. However, sometimes, the hardest part is admitting those mistakes. Granted, some of them are more impactful and harder to forgive than others; however, regardless of the gravity, we must learn to admit the wrongs that we commit humbly. If doing this is a struggle for you, consider following these simple guidelines to attain and eventually master the art of admission.
1. Admit the Mistake to Yourself
The first and most important step is to admit to yourself that you have done something wrong. Without this self-confession, you won’t be able to recognize your mistakes to others honestly. Retract your actions, determine your error, and accept that such mistake was your doing. Don’t suppress the truth in your mind or make biased self-assessments. Be brave enough to own up to your mistakes.
2. Tame your Pride
Perhaps the most difficult part when making a humble apology is taming your pride. However, if you don’t do this, then you won’t be able to move forward. So breathe, acknowledge your mistake, and empathize with the person you’ve wronged. If this doesn’t work, then do it again. Do it over and over until you subdue your pride. Only when you succeed in taming it can you take the next steps toward genuine admission.
3. Admit Your Mistake to the Offended Person
Naturally, after coming to terms with yourself, you must then sincerely admit that you were wrong to the person/s affected. The keyword here is “sincerity”. It’s easy to use one hand to show surrender while secretly having the other fingers crossed. If you hurt John’s feelings by saying uneducated remarks about his weight, then genuinely apologize and tell him that what you’ve done is offensive and wrong. Mean what you admit; otherwise, you’re deceiving not only John but also yourself.
4. Make Your Apology Simple and Straightforward
Sometimes, when admitting wrongdoing, people say too much, thus complicating and even undermining the simple message they intend to relay. Don’t beat around the bush, avoid making qualifications or justifications, and refrain from deviating from the topic. Humbly admit your error clearly and straightforwardly. Ironic as it may seem, sometimes, saying less can help you recognize more.
5. Express How You’ll Do Better
One way of showing humility when admitting a mistake is by displaying your willingness to do better. For instance, if you forgot and broke your promise to take your girlfriend to dinner, then apart from just admitting your mistake, show her that you’re going to be better next time. You don’t always have to verbally express this willingness as there are times when just doing better is enough or even more impactful than saying it. So, the next time you promise her something, live up to it or even exceed her expectations! Not only will she see how sincere and humble your admission is, but she might also fall in love with you more! It’s a double win for you!
6. Make It up to the Person You’ve Wronged
When our mistakes prove to be particularly hurtful or damaging to another, humbly admitting our errors may not be enough. In cases like this, it would be better to reinforce our words with actions that show how much we are sorry for what we’ve done. Like when we verbally abuse and bully someone, admitting our guilt and swearing to be better might not cut it. After all, we might have caused the other person emotional bruises that would take time to heal fully, so we owe it to him/her to do more to show our humility and sincerity. Perhaps we could exert effort in making him/her our friend or stand up for him when we see someone else intimidating him/her. As earlier established, actions oftentimes outweigh words, and through your actions, your intentions would resonate more.
7. Do Not Make Excuses
If you really want to own your mistake, then be humble enough to accept it entirely. Do not try to justify the wrongdoing by making excuses. If you cheat on your girlfriend, then admit it wholeheartedly. Don’t try to explain your actions by saying something like she doesn’t give you enough attention or not making you her priority. Regardless of your reason, what you did is still wrong; own it entirely. On another note, even if you fully accept your fault, topping it off with a justification will only undercut the value of your admission. It’s like saying sorry, but not really.
8. Avoid Committing the Same Mistake Again
Even if you admitted and apologized for your mistake, if you continue to commit the same mistakes again and again, then it’s all for naught. Your friend will not think of your apology as genuine, despite your admitting your fault if you keep using his Playboy magazines without his permission. What you’ll end up doing is only further offend your friend. Remember, your admission should always be coupled with a dedication not to repeat the mistake; if the latter is missing, our effort is half-baked.
9. Make the Mistake a Learning Experience
One of the best ways to show that you admit your mistake is learning and growing from it. If you truly acknowledge and regret cheating on an exam, then learn from that by studying extra hard. If you are genuinely sorry for hitting your girlfriend, then use your experience as a reminder to always be gentle and caring to other people. By choosing to learn from your mistake, not only will you show the offended party that your admission is frank, but you’ll also help yourself grow into a better person. This is another double win!
Often, committing a mistake is more painless than admitting it. That’s why we should work harder in learning how to humble ourselves and admit our wrongdoings. Remember, admitting you’re wrong is not tantamount to you admitting that you are a weak or irredeemable person; contrary to that, taking ownership of our shortcomings is a sign of courage and readiness to improve.
Be humble to see your mistakes, courageous to admit them, and wise enough to correct them.
― Amine Ayad