Sorry / Not sorry
”A wise guy is always right. And even if he’s wrong, he’s right”. Those are the words of the old-school gangster Lefty – masterfully portrayed by Al Pacino – capzulizing the life of a made guy in the 1997 mobster movie Donnie Brasco. This seems to be a philosophy shared by many non-organized-crime-affiliated individuals as well. Whether a teacher, a plumber or a hitman, some people just can’t admit they’re in the wrong.
And yeah, admitting you messed up can be difficult. Be it a minor infraction caused by careless wording, a pointless argument in a drunken haze or real hurtful shit – stepping back and accepting responsibility puts you in a vulnerable position. But what’s the alternative? We all make mistakes and acting like you’re infallible will most likely leave you very lonely, fairly quick.
”A wise guy is always right. And even if he’s wrong, he’s right” -Lefty It’s the battle of the Imightbewrongs and the Neverwrongs.
Most of us – let’s call us the Imightbewrongs – can muster the courage to admit our faults. It’s not easy, and at first we’ll probably try to shift blame and find excuses – ”Someone else said so”, ”That is usually the case”, ”I was misinformed” – but at some point we’ll suck it up and say it: ”My bad, I’m sorry!” This is a healthy strategy. Research (that I am way too lazy to confirm) shows that admitting we are wrong might actually improve quality of life, general wellness, social standing and reputation. By owning up to our errors, others see us as friendlier, more trustworthy and agreeable.
A person with a frail ego – let’s call them the Neverwrongs – will however go out of their way to distort reality. To the Neverwrongs, admitting they made a mistake or that they were wrong rattles their ego and self image to a point that is unacceptable to them. The subjects self defense-mechanism kicks in and drowns out any suggestion of self-awareness. The confusion of having one’s world view and beliefs conflict with reality can result in a state of cognitive dissonance. It is just about anything/anyone else’s fault: the kids, immigration, libtards, conservatives, the weather, men, women, gravity. The Neverwrong can be very persuasive, as they deliver every statement with the exact same unfaltering conviction. Where most of us like to leave a backdoor open (”I think this is the case”, ”I’m pretty sure it went down like that”), the Neverwrongs simply insists there is zero chance they are mistaken. This is pure mindfuck when you as a true Imightbewrong are 99 percent sure you have a case, but the Neverwrong expresses 100 percent conviction you don’t.
Even presented with evidence of the contrary, the Neverwrongs will insist it is simply a matter of perception. You just can’t win.
Perhaps the most well-known example of a brazen Neverwronger is former President of the United States of America – Donald J. Trump. When the Washington Post Fact Checker Team first started cataloguing the Presidents false or misleading claims they recorded 492 suspect claims the first 100 days of presidency. On November 2 2020 alone, the day before the election, Trump managed to fire off 503 false or misleading claims. In one day. By the end of his term he had accumulated an impressive 30,573 untruths during his presidency – none of which he has seen fit to apologize or even admit to. This includes stating the coronavirus was under control/no worse than a common cold (February 26 2020), the virus has to this date caused the death of around 1,1 million Americans. In September of 2019 Trump mistakenly Tweeted about Alabama shortly being hit by the Hurricane Dorian. When confronted with facts from the federal weather office in Birmingham stating Alabama would be unaffected, Trump simply changed the map using a sharpie and set his White House-team on a mission to pressure the federal experts into saying he was right and they were wrong. Following a speech in 2017 Trump claimed ”the Head of the Boy Scouts of America called to say it was the best speech he’d ever heard”. This was soon disclaimed by the organization. He went on to lie about his knowledge on payments to pornstar Stormy Daniels, lied about Rep Ilhan Omar being affiliated with Al Qaeda, He lied about windmills causing cancer, about being voted Michigan’s Man of the Year (!?), and he lied about winning the 2020 presidential election. And every time he’s been presented with evidence discrediting his stand, he refuses to admit he is wrong.
But maybe Trump, and in fact anyone in the Neverwrong category just lacks the tools? Maybe they just need a little help on the way? This shirt may be the answer. Inside you’ll find a form where you can fill out who’s the recipient of the apology, what infraction the apology relates to and whether the offense is likely to be repeated.
Maybe we’ll send one to Trump.