Why are we afraid of being wrong?

By Afam Nnaji on April, 14 2011

Views: 3,145

It is common to see people defend misinformation and outright lies in some cases with boldness and courage that are usually reserved for war situations, and once you challenge them with facts and truth, they abandon the issue and come after you especially when they cannot defend the lies.

This seems to be common with educated Nigerians who usually over rate themselves and believe that they cannot be wrong on any issue even as they commit blunders after blunders as they attempt to defend their positions.

People say, and I believe, that a lie cannot stand on its own, and as such, would require other supporting lies. And when the person telling the lies run out of them, or boxes himself or herself into a tight corner, the person may react in unpredictable ways ranging from personal insults to threats of violence.

I honestly think that for some strange reasons I am yet to come to terms with the fact that some of us think and believe that it is a crime to be wrong on any issue, which explains why someone would rather go to war than admit a mistake or error. If we agree that no one is indeed perfect, what then is the big deal in owning up to a mistake or error? Is this as a result of pride? Or ego? If you don’t like being wrong, then try your best to verify information you provide to people and as much as possible learn to respect facts. We must learn to admit our mistakes or errors when we make them.

Admitting a mistake or error doesn’t make you inferior but refusing to admit a mistake or error in the face of overwhelming facts will make you lose credibility and you will easily come across as a desperate person that does not have integrity. Unfortunately, due to our positions in our homes and offices, some of us are having a very tough time knowing when we are wrong and when we are right, as people that rely or depend on us for one thing or the other at home or our subordinates at work feel that they are under one form of obligation or the other to please us and never challenge whatever we say or do no matter how wrong.

This is rather misleading as we may incorrectly assume that our positions on some issues are correct even when they are not, and may only come to the realization when we come across people that are not under any obligation to please us, who will tell us to our faces that we are wrong and some good ones will even provide hard facts to back up their positions.

We should understand that there is a world of difference between opinions and facts. An opinion is personal and it is usually based on one’s experience, understanding, thought process, perspective etc.

A fact, on the other hand, is a verified information about a past or present event or circumstance, and in reality does not give a damn about your personal opinion!


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