Have you ever been in an argument with someone who just won’t admit that they’re wrong, no matter how hard you try to prove it? I bet you have. And you’ve probably, at some point or another, been that person too. Which begs the question:
Why can’t people just admit that they’re wrong?
It’s actually pretty simple. Admitting you’re wrong hurts your ego. And for that reason, people will do their best to avoid it. You can be in an argument for hours and hours, rebutting every single point a person makes with perfect logic, yet they’ll still stubbornly maintain their position.
Don’t fall into the ego trap.
Even when you have been proven wrong, your ego can almost force you to stubbornly stick with your position. And as a result you may miss out on some of the opportunities that life presents (saying it won’t work when it might), worsen your health (thinking you know more than your doctor), ruin relationships (hurting others feelings without saying sorry), etc. All for the sake of not being wrong.
It’s really a lack of self-esteem.
Huh? How is not admitting you’re wrong a lack of self-esteem/confidence? Isn’t it the exact opposite? No. Sticking with what you believe in is one thing, but sticking with it when you have clearly been proven wrong is another. A person with a low self-esteem will typically have more trouble admitting they’re wrong than a person with a high self-esteem.
Admitting you’re wrong can be a blow to the ego. And the difference between a person with a high self-esteem and a person with a low self-esteem is how big of a blow they can afford.
Let me give you an analogy:
Let’s say that self-esteem is measured in dollars. And every time you admit you’re wrong, it costs you a $100. Well, for a person with a lot of money (high self-esteem) that isn’t too big of a problem. They’ll pay up and move along. But for the person with a small amount of money (low self-esteem), that $100 may very well wipe them out. It’s no wonder then why they would be more reluctant to do so.
You should care more about being right than about not being wrong.
Keeping with that analogy, let’s say that the $100 you pay every time you’re wrong is really invested. And in the long run, you end up getting much more back than you ever put in. I bet that would make it a bit easier for anyone to part with the money. And so it should be in real life.
You will get much more back in return by admitting you’re wrong than you ever gave up (in ego) because when you admit you’re wrong you take one step closer towards being right. And at the end of the day, the more things you are right about, the more it boosts your self-esteem (as you’ll have real results, not just a false perception of reality).