7 Toxic Reasons People Can't Admit They're Wrong, According To Experts

We'll give you a hint: it's absolutely not because they're always right.

man unable to apologize after an argument with his girlfriend Rowan Jordan | Canva

Relationship disagreements happen, it is a fact of life. Whether the disagreement is large or small, some people can get caught in the mind trap of always having to be right and never admitting when they are wrong. Being wrong doesn't feel very good for anyone, but being the partner in a relationship who can never be right is absolutely no fun.

Maybe you are a person who really feels your ideas and opinions can't be wrong, and you are wondering why people can't accept the fact.


Whether you feel you are never wrong, or you are on the receiving end of always being told you are wrong, understanding why some people can't admit they are wrong can help you seek solutions, or establish boundaries to protect your mental well-being.

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Here, experts reveal the 7 toxic reasons people can't admit they're wrong:

1. Insecurity and fear of consequences

Fear is one of the most common reasons for people not able to admit they are wrong at the right time. The worry associated with harm to their reputation and credibility derails their awareness and acceptance of being incorrect.

Sidhharrth S Kumaar, Chief Happiness Officer, NumroVani

2. Over-polishing their self image

Sometimes people fall prey to unrealistic and impractical images of the self. This self-image is fake, and the cultivation of a fake image leads to them not being able to accept they can be wrong

Sidhharrth S Kumaar, Chief Happiness Officer, NumroVani


3. They can't see beyond themselves

People who have trouble admitting they are wrong have difficulty seeing beyond themselves. Many are insecure, have a strong ego, and are afraid of looking stupid. Also, people who need help admitting they are wrong are not well grounded.

The Enneagram tells us that when we are stuck in our personality, we don't have full access to our inner wisdom and thus get stuck in fear. It is hard to admit we are wrong when we are stuck in fear.

Roland Legge, Accredited Burnout Coach

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4. Lack of self-awareness

One of the most toxic reasons people can't admit they're wrong is due to a lack of self-awareness. People who lack self-awareness may have difficulty engaging in deep self-reflection. Without this introspection, they may not realize how their actions impact others, which can lead to a host of toxic behaviors.


Other toxic reasons people can't admit they're wrong can include shame and defensiveness, perfectionism, and conflict avoidance.

Blair Nicole Nastasi, AMFT & MA, Psychology

5. They are gaslighting you

They're deliberately playing mind games to manipulate and control you.

Gloria Brame, Sex therapist and best-selling author

6. They have a rigid ego

People with rigid egos can't accept any information that contradicts their pre-existing beliefs.

Gloria Brame, Sex therapist and best-selling author

7. They are a narcissist

They need to win every argument, regardless of the facts involved.

Gloria Brame, Sex therapist and best-selling author


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The reasons someone can't admit they are wrong range from a simple lack of self-awareness to serious personality disorders. If you have a person in your life who always has to be right, you might be considering what to do about it.

Knowing why they do it is the first step in finding a solution. Whether the solution is needing to establish clear boundaries with the person, or cutting them out of your life completely, understanding what is driving their behavior will help.


For the person who is never wrong, consider doing a self-assessment to see if you might need to focus on self-work for a while, seek some counseling, or maybe you are always right. But be sure to check the facts first because the chances are you might be a little bit right and a little bit wrong.

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Will Curtis is an associate editor for Yourtango and knows he is wrong about 75% of the time.