Lori's Reviews > Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts

Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) by Carol Tavris
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Nov 17, 12

bookshelves: audio-books
Read in November, 2012

This books takes us into our tendency as human beings for self-preservation when faced with the difficult challenge of admitting we were wrong. Our instinct is to deny any errors we made when confronted with the truth, followed by continuing on with the facade by insisting on the truth of our actions or words or by justifying them. The concepts and examples in this book are enlightening in showing us how blinded we are by self-righteous notions that we need to destroy relationships or risk innocent lives to perpetuate our mistakes rather than atone for them.

The only issue I had with the ideas provided is that in order for one to seek forgiveness and gain absolution, one must first be able to recognize he or she was wrong in the first place. Some instances were easier than other to decide where the fault lies, but others were more difficult. For instance, in the case of the couple in the marriage section, individually they can both be viewed as correct while collectively an observer can find flaws in both sides. This then slightly contradicts the writer in their section of memory and its fallible tendencies. Unless life is recorded 24/7 it is unlikely to be able to recall a situation with clarity and accuracy. Therefore a couple would have to rely on their semi-untrustworthy memory to recall a potential tipping-point event in their relationship. So who is right? He? She? Neither? I believe the author would argue that neither is correct and both parties need to re-evaluate their approach. I would agree to a certain extent, however, unless you truly believe you have committed a wrong-doing, your actions will eventually appear placating and inauthentic and every disagreement will feel like a struggle.

I guess the bottom line is: don't be an arrogant schmuck, but don't be a doormat either. There is a seam in between that we must navigate through, taking responsibility for all of our actions, putting our big-kid pants on and owning up to the decisions we make and the lives we affect along the way regardless of how humiliating, degrading, or painful it may be to do so because in the end our character will remain intact and our integrity untouched.

Performance:
4/5
Narrator did a great job, there were a few times were her pitch pierced, but not enough to deter from the book.
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