Have you ever said or done something and then a second later wished you could take it back? I have, and I’m sure everyone can share my dislike of “putting your foot in your mouth” and the embarrassment that follows. The reality is everyone is going to make mistakes, have a lapse in judgment or just do something innocently foolish without meaning any harm. It’s human nature to mess up, to break things or to say something you didn’t really mean in the heat of the moment. It’s how you handle these moments though, that really define them. Do you make the mess worse? Or do you clean it up with dignity and own up to your shortfall and move on?
When you slip up or make a mistake the first thing you need to do is own up to it, don’t pass the blame, don’t make excuses, just own up and admit you’re wrongs. People see responsibility, humility and responsibility as signs of maturity. Additionally, why complicate an already uncomfortable situation by skirting the truth or omitting things? Even when you don’t understand how you messed up or why you’re in the wrong, ask for help rather than get defensive or hostile. Learning from your mistakes will help you avoid them in the future and it shows the other person, or people, you’re willing to learn and grow.
Why do we do these silly things? Well, psychology would give you some deep-rooted meaning into our mind and patterns of behavior, but in the short I believe that we’re all just trying to be the best versions of ourselves. In that quest though, we sometimes ignore better judgement to keep the thing we’re focused on at the moment afloat. For example, say you’re really behind on your homework and your friend keeps asking you to help her find an outfit for a date. In the heat of the moment while you’re stressed out with this work, you snap at her and tell her the date probably won’t go well anyway. Now your friend is upset with you, your work isn’t getting done because you’re trying to apologize to her, and you’re just in an overall bad mood. You didn’t really mean it– you were just under a lot of pressure. So, what are you to do? Well, apologize, admit you were wrong, and then explain to her what you’re dealing with at school.
These silly little mishaps can be avoided most of the time, with honesty. Instead of one wording your friend or getting frustrated, she’d probably have understood if you’d just said “hey, look I’m really swamped with work, anything you wear looks great” and got back to work. Similarly, instead of just calling in sick at work, be honest with your boss when you have an outside commitment or need to come in later, rather than just blowing off an entire day. At the end of the day we’re all human and when we’re sympathetic with ourselves we can better empathize when it comes to other people.