Re-posted From: http://KindCommunication.org/2014/08/10/admit-when-youre-wrong/
You are not perfect. You make mistakes. Sometimes you’re wrong. Sometimes you’re the one who went over the top or went too far.
And that’s okay.
In fact I encourage all my clients to have the courage to be imperfect. Any time you try to be something you’re not (like perfect, or always right, or always nice, or always polite, etc) you are being fake. And others can tell. They may not know exactly how you’re being fake, but they probably feel some uneasy.
Think about times when you’ve been around someone who is pretending they are something more, something better, than they actually are. How did you feel? I generally feel skeptical, uneasy, anxious about that person seeing my flaws and lauding it over me, and I feel annoyed.
So hiding your mistakes doesn’t work, and people actually like it when you can confess your errors. I’m not saying go around and treat every person as a private confessional. I am saying that when you drop the ball, say something you regret, or did something reckless, to just admit that to whomever else was involved.
When I admit that I’ve done something I regret I am always surprised by how much more at ease I feel, how the other person seems more relaxed, and how much more readily the other person confesses to their own regrets of how they’ve acted towards me. In that moment, I am giving both myself and this other person permission to be imperfect, to be just two humans doing the best we know how.
In the heat of the moment you might be too angry to admit when you’re wrong. You can always have a redo, where later you come back and apologize. This is always better than nothing. And the more you practice admitting when you’re wrong, the easier it’ll be to admit it in the moment. And that’s where some really miraculous things can happen.
Sound difficult? It is sometimes. Most of us have been deeply conditioned to try to be perfect, to try to do it right all the time, and to try to be nice & polite. So the very thought of admitting we did something wrong brings up not only fears about the judgments and power this other person will hold over us, but also the judgments and power this inner critic, this inner parent figure, this inner authority figure, will hold over us.
It’s okay. Admit when you did something wrong, and then notice how in this unguarded place forgiveness and compassion finally have room to enter.
KindCommunication.org is a project by a close friend of Wiki World Order, Alex Leach. WWO fully supports the study, practice, and teaching of non-violent communication as one of the core solutions which already exists.