New research suggests that reciting maxims to one's self, such as "Everyone makes mistakes," can help the ego recover from guilt associated with acting against one's principles. "Hey, nobody’s perfect, right? After all, you live and learn. Everybody makes mistakes, and it’s well known that experience is the best teacher. String them together, and these familiar proverbs start to sound suspiciously like rationalizations for questionable behavior. They reinforce our threatened egos by insisting the offense we just committed, or mistake we just made, wasn’t really so terrible after all."