see the error of (one's) ways

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see the error of (one's) ways

To realize that one has been wrong and/or has behaved poorly. I'm afraid it took me too long to see the error of my ways. But it's not too late for you. He'll never see the error of his ways if he keeps being rewarded for the bad decisions he's made.
See also: error, of, see, way

see the error of your ways

COMMON If you see the error of your ways, you realise that you have behaved badly and start to understand how you can do better. I wanted an opportunity to talk some sense into him and try to make him see the error of his ways. Note: You can also say that you realise the error of your ways. It took him a long time, he says, to realise the error of his ways. Note: You can also point out or show someone the error of their ways. He only responded when his players pointed out the error of his ways. But I firmly believe that many of these conservatives can be shown the error of their ways.
See also: error, of, see, way
References in periodicals archive ?
While Ford didn't win over any new 'Buy' ratings, the Neutral-raters may be seeing the error of their ways.
For conservatives, Mamet's conversion was a sign that liberals are seeing the error of their ways.
It might seem a statement of the obvious to those of us who live here, but it seems that the exiles who've been living and working across the border are finally seeing the error of their ways and are moving back in droves.
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