We all make mistakes at some point in our lives. Sometimes we’re not thinking straight. Sometimes our judgement is clouded by anger. Other times, we rush into things too quickly. But no matter what your mistake is, there has to be a healthy way of dealing with it. Here are some of our tips for dealing with mistakes like an adult.

1. Don’t shift the blame

Blaming someone else is often the easiest way out. And sure, perhaps it was a joint decision that you made and you both got in trouble for it. But trying to pass the blame entirely on them is childish and won’t help your case. You will likely be found out, and you don’t want to get a reputation as a liar. It’s easier to tell the truth from the start and be the bigger person.

2. Don’t let it escalate

Sometimes, you tell a little white lie to get out of trouble. That lie spirals until you’ve got nothing, but a web of untruths. You end up in a bigger mess than if you’d just told the truth right away. Put a stop the silliness. Rip off the bandage right away and save yourself the embarrassment of being caught out.

3. Learn from your mistakes

If you do something wrong and own up to it, you have two choices. You can continue to make the same mistakes again, or you can use the experience to influence your decisions later in life. The second option is by far the better one. When people don’t learn from mistakes, they become unlikeable – if they promised never to do something again and continue to repeat their actions, they seem untrustworthy and prone to lying. It’s not a good look for anyone.

4. Accept that some things will be broken by your mistakes

Let’s say you cheated on your partner, hypothetically. It might have been one kiss, and then you stopped it. Depending on how your partner reacts, this could break up your relationship. Begging for forgiveness in this situation might not help your case. You’ve done something that will actively ruin what you have, and believing you’re owed forgiveness for being honest is a slippery slope. Make it clear you’re available to talk about the situation further, but don’t push the person to forgive you. It simply won’t work, and will upset everyone further.

5. Listen to advice from your loved ones

If you’ve done something you regret, but you don’t know how to handle it, talk to someone who knows you well. They might not agree with what you did, but they’d be happy to help you move on from it. They want what is best for you, so they’ll give you the best advice possible. There’s no shame in reaching out for help – in fact it proves you’re mature enough to talk through a situation rather than running away from it.

6. Don’t convince yourself your mistake isn’t one

Sometimes, it can be easier just to tell yourself that you haven’t done anything wrong. You can pretend that you had someone’s best interests in mind, or reason that there was nothing else you could have done in the situation. However, coming to this conclusion is often fuelled by the guilt you’re feeling. You’re attempting to wiggle your way out of a situation and save your own skin. In the long run, it’ll just end up hurting more people.

7. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes

Think about the people that your mistake effects, and how badly it will disrupt their lives or your relationship with them. If you come to the conclusion that it would be bad, it’s probably time to correct your mistakes and own up to them.