mistakes were made (but not by me) by carol tavris and elliott aronson
Communication, Personal Development

Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson

Today’s big idea comes from a pioneering book called ‘Mistakes were made, (but not by me)’. The book is written by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson.

The book explores why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions and hurtful acts.

Let’s review the key points from the book.

#1: Cognitive Dissonance: The Engine of Self-Justification.
Cognitive Dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This produces a feeling of mental discomfort leading to an alteration in one’s attitude, beliefs or behavior to reduce the discomfort and restore balance…

#2: Memory – The Self-Justifying Historian.
When two people convey entirely different memories from the same event, people usually assume that one of them is lying. And of course, sometimes this is the case but often it is simply a matter of self-justification at work – as a story is told and re-told we add small details, alter facts slightly and omit inconvenient facts. All part of a self-enhancing spin. We do this to make the story clearer and better and little by little the alternated story becomes the new reality. In this way, our memory becomes our personal, live-in, self-justifying historian scoping the memories of our lives to remove cognitive Dissonance and strengthen our self-image.

#3: Blind Spots, Good Intentions, Bad judgement!
The human brain is designed with blind spots, and one of its cleverest tricks is to award us with the comforting delusion that we, personally, do not have any! Our brains intentionally block out vital information or crucial events which otherwise could have made us question our actions or convictions.

#4 Self-Justification – The Assassin of relationship.
Our natural resentment towards cognitive dissonance and subsequent use of self-justification can also undermine or even ruin personal, business or international relationships The key to avoiding this is to focus on solving the conflict at hand it instead of criticizing the person, corporation or government behind the quarrel. ‘Keeping your eye on the ball..’ so to say.

#5: Letting go and owning up.
Here are some advantages of admitting your mistakes… First of all, understand that it is not a sign of stupidity or weakness, but a great way to learn. People respect and are more likely to reward, those who own up to their mistakes. Second, open yourself up to criticism from others and to any evidence proving that you are incorrect…

And there you have it! The Key takeaways from Mistakes Were Made (but not by me).

As always, I highly recommend reading the book, but should you feel short on time you can watch our animated summary by clicking the link below.

I hope you will enjoy the video. That it will inspire you, help you Grow your Mind and Motivate You to be The Best You!

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Take care and see you soon.

You can check out the video here.

This is our Bouillon Cube summary of the book. As always we highly recommend reading the whole book. You can buy it by clicking this link.

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