The ability to say, "I'm sorry," is a big part of self-awareness. Countless misunderstandings and conflicts arise because people are unwilling to back down or admit that they made a mistake. The irony is that, in trying to avoid being wrong, people make the situation worse. When something goes awry, it's much more productive to think in these types of terms:
- There's nothing wrong with making a mistake.
- You don't have to be right all the time to be a good person.
- It's positive to take the other person's feelings into account.
- You can learn and grow by examining what you did.
- You don't have to win.
- You don't have to save face.
- Admitting you made a mistake is a positive sign of self-awareness.
- You take responsibility for your actions and how they affect others.
- You're healthy enough to not have to dominate or control others.
Saying, "I'm sorry," doesn't mean that you let people step all over you, it's simply an acknowledgement that you're willing and able to reflect on what you did and work on improving the situation. Self-awareness allows you to step back, evaluate your thoughts and behaviors, take responsibility, and make corrections. What will you do to say, "I'm sorry," more freely?