I was wrong

iwaswrongRecently I wrote a post about failure, and one of my regular readers, Tina, who blogs at Philosophy and Fiction, liked one of my pithy pieces of advice on how to deal with failure.

Don’t hide your failures.
Failures are nothing to be ashamed of. Talk to your friends and family about what went wrong. They may be able to help, or at least offer some comfort. Even if they can’t help you, telling them your story might help them. Keeping things secret never helps anyone.

So I had the amazing/stupid idea of putting this into practice on more formal terms. I propose to create an international Admit You’re Wrong Day.

As many of you are bloggers, I challenge you to have a go yourselves. It might be therapeutic, if it doesn’t leave you looking like a complete idiot.

I’m going to kick this off myself, and so my next two posts will be called I was wrong about religion, and I was wrong about nuclear power.

23 responses to “I was wrong

  1. Good for you. I might just give it a go myself although I suspect that it could be a never ending list of things that I’ve got wrong but like they say, “nothing ventured nothing gained”. I always felt that getting things or opinions wrong helps to get things right in the future as long as you learn from your experiences. Have a good day.

  2. Your italicised words are wonderful advice Steve – hard for the proud to apply, yet efficacious for all nonetheless. I think that as bloggers, assuming we make our sites available for commenting upon, then we leave ourselves open to being, if not proved, then accused, of erring in what we write.

    For example, my last post evoked hostility in two commenters, one of whom retracted upon reflection, the other writing my position off as ‘wrong’. It’s not for me to say which of us erred, though in posting all but the most anodyne thoughts, we invite others to demonstrate any weakness in our ideas.

    Of course, there remains the matter of whether we can admit of such weaknesses, which is the challenge you present Steve. Being a relativist, so steering clear of making definitive statements, I enjoy the side-effect of being able to subtly shift my position should the need arise! 😉

    • Hariod, I have certainly learned a lot from having my ideas challenged by readers of this blog – yourself included. I greatly value such exchanges, and it is clear that you do too.

    • I attempted to help a fellow reader who posted an admission pertaining to how she was excessively worrying about her children. She openly wondered if she was crazy and implied that her thinking was irrational. When I verified that indeed her thinking was irrational and suggested ways she could ease her emotional disease she became hostile telling me I was irrational. I could see that she was not ready to explore her irrationality even though she had posted on it.

  3. To me it looks like the two posts you will be writing will be more about “I changed my mind about this topic” than “I was a failure.”

  4. Very well said Steve. Anyone who holds the exact same opinions on everything over time has stopped listening and thinking. When we publish those opinions, we have a tendency to lock them in, which can become a self made trap.

    I’ve also learned that it’s a lot easier to publicly change my mind if I wasn’t strident about my previous views. Having eaten my share of crow over the years, it’s made me moderate my language considerably. (Although sometimes I do slip 🙂 )

  5. Great blogging topic! I’ve been wrong so many times I can’t remember them all. Just the two days ago I diagnosed my husband’s symptoms as due to high blood pressure (he gets anxious when his BP is high, so I figured that’s what it was). I took his BP manually, and sure enough, it was high. We looked into his medications and found out that he’d been cutting a pill in half because he thought it was 100 mg when the doctor had actually switched it to 50 so he wouldn’t have to cut it in half. I smugly declared that I must have doctor genes. Boy did I feel smart. Well, his symptoms got worse and we went to urgent care. I apparently don’t know how to use a manual sphygmomanometer because he didn’t have high blood pressure…instead he had pneumonia and possibly a urinary tract infection! Good one Tina!

    Of course, anyone who can’t even say “sphygmomanometer” should not be trusted. (I’ll even go so far as to admit that I can’t spell it either. I had to Google it because I was so far off the mark that the dictionary here had no idea what I was going for.)

    On the other hand, the urgent care doctor declared that he was dehydrated and told him to drink Gatorade. Luckily, we had an appointment with a proper doctor the next day, and he told me to take him to the ER right away.

  6. Oh dear, I hope your husband makes a quick recovery. I had not even heard of a sphygmomanometer, so I will definitely not trust myself in future.

  7. I’m still thinking about my “Admit You’re Wrong Day” entry. Might I suggest, just to give us time to gather our thoughts, an interim “Admit Steve Morris W as Wrong Day”?

  8. That sounded much funnier in my head before I posted it. I guess I was wrong.

    • No, you were right. I get things wrong every day.

      I realise that this concept could easily be misunderstood. Imagine an angry mob cornering people on the street and chanting “Admit you’re wrong!” Better to stay indoors on “Admit You’re Wrong Day.”

      It should obviously be “Admit I’m Wrong Day” although that sounds stupid. Back to the drawing board!

  9. Pingback: I was wrong | SelfAwarePatterns

  10. My blog is largely about how wrong I’ve been. Personal responsibility and integrity are the most important tools to have in your tool belt.

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