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Admitting you're Wrong - The key to Dignified Humility  

So know that you know you have the character flaw addicted to being
right, is there anything that you can do about it? There surely is.
Let's take an in depth look at some of the strategies for turning a this
common flaw into the virtue, humility. Flaws exist because they are a
response to a challenge or a trauma that threatens us, not because
people are innately bad. this is not meant to deny that there are bad
people out there. There most certainly are. I just don't believe that
anyone is hopelessly flawed. A little bit of willingness goes a long
way along the path of personal transformation.
A man must be both stupid and uncharitable who believes there is no
virtue or truth but on his own side.--Joseph Addison
Let's say you have the willingness to change and you now know that you
are addicted to being right. The first thing you should do is
congratulate yourself. It's okay that you have it. I'm as serious as a
heart attack about that. Most people who are addicted to being right
never even get to this point. They never become conscious of the fact
that they may just possibly have a flaw. As my late father would say,
"I am never wrong, except when I think I am wrong." He was addicted to
being right, but never admitted it. It's too bad because character
flaws definitely make life more difficult. You might agree that they
make like more interesting too, but life is interesting enough without
having a lot of baggage to carry around. It is far wiser to release
your own and observe the flaws of others.
So ask yourself this unusual question: How is addicted to being right
useful? Every flaw serves a purpose. Your mind doesn't bother going
through the trouble of obsessing about being right without some
perceived payback. What is the reward?
Addicted to being right often signals the need to tread lightly. It
shows that the person has issues. One might be trying to save face or
hold on to self esteem. What ever the reason is for you, next time you
are caught being addicted to being right, try a new tact. Try seeing it
as an opportunity to admit you're wrong.
How is admitting you're wrong helpful?
Admitting you are wrong shows you're human. Most of my patients with
this flaw knew they were human and didn't need to show it. At least
that is what they thought. In fact people who are addicted to being
right are often criticized for not being compassionate and caring about
others. I don't mean to imply that you should admit you're wrong just
as a way to manipulate others into believing you're human. Admitting
you are wrong is a way of being real with people.
Admitting you are wrong requires less maintenance How often have you
met someone who demanded perfection of themselves. These unfortunate
types flip-flop between demanding perfection and giving up. They demand
so much of themselves that they prime themselves for failure. Accepting
our own imperfections requires honesty. It the long run honesty
requires much less maintenance.
Admitting you are wrong is associated with high self esteem.
Self-esteem is that feeling of value you place on yourself based on your
view of your past history, your body, and your thoughts. On a deeper
level it has to do with who you believe you are in the depths of your
being. People with high self esteem are rarely addicted to being right.

Admitting you are wrong is associated with resourcefulness. Low
self-esteem makes a person less resourceful and prone to being addicted
to being right. A person who is able to admit being wrong is more
resourceful because he believes he has the right to develop new
capabilities.
Admitting your wrong breeds an environment of tolerance. I've been
wrong enough to know that you and others are capable of making mistakes
too. We all do. Admitting to being wrong creates an environment of
tolerance, not just personal tolerance, but tolerance of others.
Admitting your wrong creates open-mindedness. By that I mean a more
willing environment for you opinions to be reviewed. This is extremely
important if you are in search of the truth. Open-mindedness is an
essential ingredient to discovering the truth.
Admitting your wrong will help point out where you sound stupid. This
may not be a high priority on the list of things sought for by someone
who is addicted to being right, but as one becomes more mature it is
important to know where you sound like a fool and how to correct it.
Addicted to being right sounds fairly lame to people who are interested
in truth and high ideals so you may as well figure out early on in life
where you sound stupid. Why wait to correct that?
Lastly it is important to admit your wrong and then listen. Learning to
listen after admitting you are wrong is a powerful way to get a fine
education. You will learn much more by listening to others that by
talking.
Duty and Dignity
Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they
love truth.--Joseph Jouber
It is your duty to search for truth. It is everyone's responsibility to
seek what is right and just. Being mature enough to admit that you are
wrong lend dignity to you. It also insures that you will remain open
minded about life.
Let me take you through a process of responding to being addicted to
being right.
1. Notice that you are upset when someone else doesn't agree that you
are right. This is the first step in the process. It is a simple
awareness that you are in reaction.
2. Pause and allow yourself to see how crazy it is to be upset about
who's right. This is a simple task that requires that you give your ego
a small time out. It is goofy to be that upset about whether people
agree with you or not.
3. Don't be angry that you are in reaction, but chalk it up to an
opportunity to gain insight about yourself. Actually change the meaning
of your reaction from something that is off base to an opportunity.
4. Forgive the other person for not having your "wonderful" insight.
Hey, they have the freedom to believe what they want, just like you do.
5. Examine if you are possibly wrong. If by any remote possibility
you believe that you are in reaction and wrong about it, please admit
it.
6. Don't expect them to love you just because you admitted you were
wrong. Just admit it and see what happens.
That will help you get more real, more humble and will help your
relationships deepen. There is great dignity in being able to admit
when you are wrong. It is wonderful to be around that kind of person.


 

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