Wikipedia:Admitting you were wrong

Let's face it, everyone gets it wrong. The more often you disagree the more you may get wrong. If you're in a disagreement with someone over something, then you have a chance of being wrong. If two people completely disagree on something factual, then at least one of them is going to be wrong. In fact, they might both be wrong.

Have you heard of Catholic guilt, or Jewish al chet? When you're wrong, you're wrong. But when you're right, you're extra-wrong. And if you're in between, it's still your fault. You just can't win.

Suppose you're right on the facts in a content dispute, or right about Wikipedia policies and guidelines if it's a procedural issue or another editor is misbehaving. If you're so right, it's extra wrong that you just got into an argument over it. Couldn't you have just let it lie, or maybe explained it in a way that didn't make the other editor feel terrible and defensive? You don't have to win every argument. Not every dispute is worth fighting.

Rightness is an unattainable goal. If everything were right we could stop editing the encyclopedia because there wouldn't be anything to fix. Let us hope that never happens. In the meanwhile, your work is unfinished.

As hard as it is to admit you're wrong, it can be liberating. If you know you're wrong you can stop doing it and learn from it. If you let other people know, you can undo the damage. The fastest way to becoming a better editor and better human being is to be wrong, a lot.

There are many ways of saying you're sorry. Which one to use, if any, depends on the situation.