Reacting to mistakes

Here are 2 options for how to react when someone makes a mistake.

The first is to get mad as if the person made the mistake on purpose, maybe shout at them and ask why they did it.

The second is to let them know what they could have done better.

It’s similar to the idea of criticism and feedback. One of these reactions is useful whilst the other is simply someone using it as an opportunity to take out their own anger or frustration.

The first reaction will likely have someone feeling bad for doing something wrong and overtime could contribute to a fear of failure.

The second reaction will help someone understand what they can do differently next time and encourages growth.

Making a change vs Doing nothing

When making a difficult decision a good place to start is weighing up the pros and cons.

Take some time and really think about it.

Let’s say for example you were deciding whether or not move to a new city. The pros might be things like getting a fresh start, more opportunities and challenging yourself. The cons could be a lack of familiarity, time lost having to start over and leaving family/friends behind.

You could also ask yourself questions like:

Will the short-term advantage benefit me in the long-run?

I think if you regularly find yourself caught between making a change and doing nothing, you might just be afraid of trying something new or making a mistake.

In those cases it might actually be better to throw yourself into doing the the thing you’re unsure of because at least you’re giving yourself the opportunity to grow, develop and explore.

Learning from mistakes

In the moment missing a day of daily blogging feels like failure but in the grand scheme of things I know it’s not that bad.

If you look at it one way missing 8/365 days isn’t much at all.

But on the other hand can you really call yourself a daily blogger if you don’t post every single day.

When I first started daily blogging it really bothered me when I missed a day, mainly because it was never intentional. It frustrated me that I could forgot to post and not realise until the next day and by then it was too late.

Luckily, I’ve now realised that when you make a mistake if you focus on learning from it instead of getting mad at yourself it’s much less likely to happen again.

And of course this applies to so much more than just blogging

Taking advantage of kindness

So lets say you’re someone who has a habit of running late. And this has happened quite a few times with Friend A who is always super understanding about it.

Perhaps the first time you were late you were super apologetic and felt bad but you were also glad your friend was understanding and didn’t get mad about it.

For some people, when they keep getting a kind response as a reaction to their mistakes they’ll end up being less and less apologetic.

Afterall, what’s the point in preparing for the worst case scenario when the past responses have taught you that things will turn out fine.

This is how people end up taking advantage of kindness.

I used the example of being late but this can apply to any scenario where your actions directly effect someone else.

The point is that when you’re making mistakes or when you’re in the wrong you shouldn’t expect for others to just be cool with it. In fact, in some ways it’s actually healthy to accept one of the worst potential outcomes as it’ll keep you on your toes and your apology is much more likely to be genuine.

Granted, the best option will always be to do better but mistakes will always happen and that’s okay.

Difficult conversations

A difficult conversation is a conversation worth having.

It’s hard speaking up when you don’t know how to say things eloquently, you’re worried about how people will react and feel like nobody will pay attention.

But that doesn’t mean you should say nothing.

Maybe it means you should take a different approach, ensure you’re talking to the right people and trust that even if you don’t get the outcome you wanted at least you tried.

Sometimes we’re so focused on the end result that if things don’t go our way, we end up thinking that it was mistake to even try.

If I was you…

It’s easy to pass judgements on other peoples choices.

‘If I was you I’d have…’

‘Maybe if you ….. then this wouldn’t have happened’

But your judgement is rarely being sought out so maybe think about ways to be helpful instead.

Sometimes when a person is riled up, frustrated and they take action it’s not from a place of clarity. If they’d have waited a few hours or a day or two they’d have done things differently. But everybody makes mistakes, we’re all just learning as we go.

Policing perfect

If you go on social media you’ll find an abundant amount of people policing ‘perfect’. They’ll criticise, comment and assume as though people aren’t human beings.

But the thing is, you can never please everyone and you will make mistakes.

And as great as the internet is, nobody needs 4658 strangers criticising them for something they said or did, even if it was wrong. Ganging up on someone is never a good way to get them to change their ways.

The internet and social media in particular is a great place to practice ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’. Just because you can send a comment telling someone off for doing something that you don’t think they should have done, doesn’t mean you should.

Better yet ask yourself ‘is this useful or helpful?’, ‘what will I achieve by doing this?’.

Chances are you might find it’s actually better to say nothing at all.

An open mind

Is more useful than a closed one.

A closed mind is a one track mind, a mind with tunnel vision a mind likely to miss things worth noticing.

One thing worth noticing is that not everyone sees things the way that you do and no amount of encouraging, influencing and arguing will change that.

It’s actually okay to think differently and not agree after all why should 2 people with different sets of genetics and life experiences be expected to think the same.

I think a mistake often made about being open minded is that you to agree with the other person. In reality it’s merely acknowledgment that it’s okay for people to not see things the same way that you do.

It’s not always black and white or a case of right and wrong.

Online attacks and 21st century pitchforks

Maybe I’m old fashioned but I’m a firm believer in treating others in a way you’d like to be treated.

If I made a mistake or said something that wasn’t well thought or shared an unpopular opinion, I’d like to think that people’s intention would be to broaden my perspective or give information in a way that would be useful rather than come at me with pitchforks (which in this case is tweets) .

When I see the way people react to things online it makes me wonder why these people are responding: to offer something useful or just to be involved in drama by adding fuel to the fire.