Why is it So Hard for Some People to Own Up to their Mistakes?

Words by Meldrick Tin

As humans, it is really inevitable for us to make mistakes. It is part of our nature as humans to be flawed and imperfect and to have misunderstandings with other people. And even though it’s not intentional, we sometimes also even hurt people along the way.


Making mistakes makes us human—we grow and learn from our own mistakes, and these experiences shape us to become better and more sensitive people. And one of the steps in the process is learning how to apologize.


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Asking for an apology seems to be so simple when the issue at hand isn’t that substantial. When we unconsciously bump into someone along the road or accidentally step on someone else’s shoe, we almost instantaneously say sorry to that person. But when the matter at hand is something more serious, why is it that we find it so hard to own up to our mistakes?


When already faced in a heated argument, more often than not, people only say “Sorry ah, tao lang ako eh, hindi ako perfect” just for the sake of finishing the discussion already. It’s not that we don’t acknowledge that you’re only human and make mistakes—it’s just that you’re already making mistakes, already at the fault, yet you’re still too proud and arrogant, and refuse to admit your mistakes.


I think that this culture comes from the notion that most of us deeply value our pride, our mentality that we should always be in the right side of things. But I’ve come to realize that our ego will not help in the grander scheme of things. If we just lower our pride, be humble, and admit and recognize our mistakes, only then are we able to actually grow and learn from an experience.


It’s not enough that we only say sorry for the sake of it. In apologizing, we have to express sincerity and authenticity in saying “I’m sorry” or “I apologize”—and actually mean it. Taking responsibility for our actions and recognizing how these may have affected the other person is also effective in the sense that we’ll most likely not do it again in the future, and we really shouldn’t. Also, making amends with the person can help rebuild the damage that has been done from the mistake.


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Needless to say, asking for apologies takes so much courage. But ultimately, owning up to our mistakes will make us better people.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below!


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