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The Art Of Being Wrong

   By: Larry Hochman

I would like to approach you with a very simple idea: you should be wrong more often.

Now this may sound crazy, but if you stop and think for a second, you will realize how much has been accomplished by people who have been wrong time and time again.

You will also come to realize how valuable the ability to be wrong is as an interpersonal skill.

Let's start with a basic principle of wrongness. When someone thinks they are right, no matter what, they are mentally locked in to seeing things their way.

They have no opportunity to grow and change because their position is the only right one.

Why listen to anyone else when you KNOW you have the answer?

Being wrong...and KNOWING you have the ability to be wrong is how you can begin to see the world in new and wonderful ways.

People who were wrong over and over again are the ones who come up with the greatest inventions and the greatest works of art. They are also some of our best leaders.

But there is an even bigger reason to be wrong! It is one of the most endearing, loveable human traits we are blessed with.

Let me change that a bit. ADMITTING that you are wrong is the key!

Think back to the last time you had a fight with a spouse or some other important person in your life and they TOLD you THEY were wrong.

How did you feel about that person when you heard that? Chances are you felt very good about them. You also probably were able to tell them that YOU were wrong as well.

Everyone walked away with their egos in good shape and you probably came to a solution that both of you could live with.

In my family I am wrong at least three or four times a day. When my wife and I have a disagreement one of the first things I try to do is identify where I am wrong.

This is usually a very easy process.

Where earlier in our lives where it was important to be right, it is now so much easier to be wrong.

I know when I have admitted my wrongness I will get kinder treatment. I will usually get a confession of wrongness in return, and I just may wind up doing better the next time with what I was wrong about in the first place!

Being wrong has saved more marriages than being right.

And my wrongness is not limited to my wife; I am also wrong for each of my daughters on a regular basis.

Far from diminishing my authority as a parent, both my kids look up to me even more when I have admitted a mistake and apologized for it. Even better, I role model this behavior for them.

It is cool to admit you're wrong!

I suggest that people who have a healthy and positive relationship with being wrong are the ones who lead the happiest, most productive, and loving lives.

Don't be afraid to be wrong! It is the foundation of our genius as human beings and the vehicle of our growth!

And it's fun to make up when after you're wrong!

Larry Hochman, "The Guidance Guy" is a internationally read advice columnist and one of the Internet's leading authorities on education, college admissions and successful parenting. Have a question on education or college? Visit the Guidance Guy at

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