On Being Wrong

I just received a call from Terminix for my mother, who passed away a year ago. They insisted that I should sign up for a service on her home that I was already paying for. I insisted that I was already receiving that service and asked them to please double check their records. After explaining three times that I knew what I was talking about, the salesperson did, indeed, check, and, lo and behold, I was right. In an embarrassing admittance the person said, “Oh look, there it is” and told me to have a nice day.

At the very least, he could have said he was wrong, and that he would at least change the name of record on the account before telling me to have a nice day.

There is nothing wrong in admitting you are wrong. In fact, it would be very refreshing if more people admitted they were wrong. In fact the more people shy away from admitting their guilt, the more time and money is wasted trying to prove it. It can be embarrassing, yes. But it frees you to admit you are wrong and then you have the time to go about correcting a situation, instead of weaseling around trying to get out of the situation.

Laying blame on others, too, is another way people try to get out of admitting they are wrong. “It’s not my fault,” is an easy cop out. Even if it is not your personal fault, you may be linked so it is in your best interest to acknowledge that there is a situation and to make sure it is corrected.

With all of this guilt hanging over us, it’s easy to see why there is so much stress in the world. Guilt leads to insecurity and you worry about people finding out.

Deal with it. “No, officer, I wasn’t going 76.” Owning up to a mistake may cost you in a ticket and higher insurance. But at least you won’t look foolish.

“Oh, shit.” Correct it immediately so there’s less s–t to hit the fan.

A long time ago in my first professional job, I had to piece together a video that included photos from a variety of sources, a soundtrack and interviews. The end product was not that great. Instead of saying that I really didn’t have the experience to do this project, I probably accused the professionals of giving us a bad product. That project started out badly and ended worse. But a kind colleague told me to just accept what was obvious. Yes, it was my fault, and, yes, I should admit it. We were able to fix it up somewhat, and I felt better about the situation. Since then I obviously try not to make mistakes, but when they are made I own up to them.

When I read about how Michael Jackson’s Thriller album was put together, I sensed the same thing. The album had taken a while to prepare and the “suits” just wanted to meet deadline and get it to market. But Michael and Quincy Jones, his producer, knew that it wasn’t the product it could be and did not want to make the mistake of releasing it before it was ready. So they took it back and redid the product, and we all know that it became the best-selling album of all time.

It can hurt to admit guilt and to say that you are wrong. On the other hand, it can be liberating and put you in a better light to be “man” enough to own the mistake and correct it. Set your mind at ease and be happy about your decision.


About the happiness plan

There is comfort and a knowing of place in the always-have-been. I can do change though; just don't thrust it at me. I am trying to be better at thinking outside the box and some days it actually works. My advice? Don't plan on accidental happinesses. Go out there and find them yourself. You are the solution.
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