Saying Sorry Is A Smart Choice
December 3, 2020
- A man who says sorry when he is wrong is Honest.
- A man who says sorry when he is not sure is Wise
- A man who says sorry even when he is right is called a Husband
Someone on a group sent this joke as a WhatsApp forward a few days back. While It did bring a smile, it also triggered a train of thought.
There is obviously humorous sarcasm hidden in the joke. Husbands are smart. They know the value of peace at home and, therefore, don’t bother trying to prove themselves right even if they are.
The moot point is this. What is the big deal with saying sorry?
We usually are very uncomfortable saying sorry because we think apologizing means we are wrong. From our childhood, It is ingrained in our mind that when we commit a mistake, we say sorry.
Therefore, we build a mental model that goes like this.
“We say sorry ONLY if we are wrong or if we have committed a mistake. Otherwise, we defend our position come what may.”
Unfortunately, there is a flaw in this mental model. Not being wrong does not make one right. In most matters, a viewpoint about something is just a belief or an opinion.
Someone feels Donald Trump is a crook. Someone else feels he makes for a great president. Can we say anyone who believes Donald Trump is a crook is objectively right or anyone who believes he has done an excellent job as President is objectively wrong? Almost 50% of America thinks he is good !!
We fixate on the idea of right and wrong when they are just fluid concepts that mutate in our minds based on context and individual perspective.
Unless one is facing an interview where being right is the only route to get the job, there is no real value in expending your energy defending your viewpoint.
Yes, you may feel threatened and uncomfortable with the notion of saying sorry because the voice of your Ego is screaming in your head that you did no wrong, and there is nothing to apologize for.
But recognize this truth-There is no upside in burning bridges, creating friction with others to make yourself feel right. You may win that battle, but you lose the war in terms of your mental peace and relationship.
Middle Aged kids not on speaking terms with aged parents. Trouble with spouse’s parents. Estranged siblings. Broken friendships and broken families. The ill-effects of Ego are there as a mute witness in almost every family.
Recognize that there is a bigger play here. Silence your Ego and say sorry.
Saying sorry may hurt your Ego. It does not hurt you.
When you say sorry to someone, it doesn’t mean you are wrong. It only means you value the person and the relationship more than your Ego of being right.
The smart husband knows this fact when dealing only with his spouse. The smart person knows this fact when dealing with everyone.