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Categorisation of Mistakes


1. Broad categorisation of mistakes

In this article, we discuss how we broadly classify mistakes. They can be classified into incorrect actions and incorrect reactions and a combination of incorrect actions and reactions. Let us look at a few examples in each category of mistakes

1.1 Incorrect action

This is where because of a personality defect, we make an incorrect action.
The following are some examples of incorrect actions:

  • John does not take care to place his things in the right place and hence misplaces his documents.
  • Sheela cheats in her exams.
  • Fernando hits his wife when he comes back drunk from the pub.
  • Marco drinks and drives and then hits a pedestrian
  • Shashank wastes time playing video games when he should be studying for his exam
  • Julian makes fun of Adrian to put him down and to look good amongst their friends
  • Chan felt lazy to wash the dishes in the sink.

1.2 Incorrect Reaction

This is where we react to an event, situation or a person negatively.

  • When the queue for the movie tickets was moving very slow Selma got very impatient and restless.
  • When her husband was rude to her, Xiu Mei became very emotional and tears welled up in her eyes.
  • When Tony was not given the extra pocket money by his Dad, he became very angry.
  • When Samantha had to give a stage performance for a whole day before the performance her stomach was in knots and she was fearful.
  • When Ali failed the job interview, he began to panic about the future.
  • When Sunita heard that her close friend’s son topped his exam, she became jealous as her own son had just passed the same exam.

1.3 Incorrect action and reaction (combined)

Here we look at a combination of incorrect actions and reactions in a given situation.

  • When a driver cut Ronaldo off on the freeway, Ronaldo screamed at him in rage.
  • When Antonio was rejected by his girlfriend he got depressed, went to the bar and got himself drunk.
  • When Vladimir found he had been cheated by the taxi driver, he got abusive and hit the taxi driver.
  • While working as a maid in an affluent household, Maria saw some money lying around. Overcome with greed, and after making sure no one was looking, she pocketed the money.
  • When Heinrich was told that the restaurant could not serve him his favourite dish, he got angry and threw a tantrum.
  • When Amara was scolded by her father, she had a reaction and locked herself up in her room the whole day.

2. In summary

  • It’s important to be alert when a mistake occurs and have awareness if it was an action, reaction or a combination of both.
  • By making a note of mistakes committed, it helps in the process of self-awareness.


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