Saying These 3 Words More Will Make You A Better Friend
“I was wrong.”
Whenever I angrily write about how people screw us over at every turn, my views skyrocket.
“7 Brutal Things You Need To Learn About People That Are Sad But True” is one example, which is one of my most-popular articles of all time.
At one point in that piece I write, “People will turn on you at a moments notice.”
Jeez. This is clearly an “I do everything right, everybody else sucks” kind of an article. I wrote it three years ago, so don’t judge me.
The reason I bring that up is, it seems many of us hold similar beliefs.
We’re good, right? And the other person is bad.
No. When there’s an argument between two people, both are always at fault.
We all contribute to our own problems with other people, because without our involvement, there wouldn’t be a problem in the first place. It truly takes two to tango.
Oddly enough, if you start looking at any inter-personal relationship problems through the lens of “this is probably my fault, too” it starts changing everything.
You get more humble. You get less angry. And you can keep fostering relationships that otherwise would’ve died.
The key phrase here that can save relationships and make you a better friend is a simple “I was wrong.”
Here’s a few reasons why apologizing and accepting your role in arguments makes you a better friend.
1. You Cultivate More Humility
For me, humility is the doorway to so many beautiful traits.
It can lead to more empathy, less ignorance, less impatience, and it’s lethal to a lot of other bad traits, too.
If you’re humble, you realize you don’t know everything. You understand there’s gaps in your world-view, so you empathize with people more in order to fill these gaps. That leads to a decrease in ignorance, and a decrease in impatience, since you’re more understanding of people now.
When we’re more willing to take responsibility for the problems in our relationships, humility is born.
If you’re wrong, you’re wrong. The mistakes I make are not malicious in nature. I don’t mean to hurt someone — I just end up doing it on accident. Have humility, say sorry, and move on.
You’ll become a better person because of it.
2. You’ll Be Less Angry
I recently spent time with a couple friends of mine over dinner. It would’ve been a nice dinner had they not aired their dirty laundry about their crappy friends the whole time.
It basically became the super bowl of complaining.
My stress levels floated higher than the steam in the kitchen and I left dinner with a horrible taste in my mouth (even though the fajitas were brilliant).
Their anger made me angry.
The thing is, this is what anger does to us. It poisons our mood and the mood of those around us. Wouldn’t it be better to just not be angry all the time?
Stop holding your grudges. Who cares? Will you still be upset about whatever it is you’re upset about in a year? Or 5 years? Is it worth poisoning your mood every day?
Grudges are like farts. You gain nothing from holding one in.
So just forgive people and realize you played a part in the problem, too. It’ll make you less spiteful and angry, making room for contentment and happiness to come in.
3. You Keep Friendships Alive
I’ve had many friendships die because I was unwilling to admit a mistake I made. As the years passed, I realized that keeping the relationship alive was more important than whatever we were fighting about.
If you keep this “I’m right and everybody else is wrong” mentality up for too long, you’ll end up alone.
All your friendships will die. Everybody will do something wrong soon enough. And ultimately it leads to a lonely existence.
When you enter into a long-term friendship with someone, you will both make mistakes. Sometimes you will be called upon to forgive someone. Do it. Move on.
If you don’t, you’ll always end up lonely because you’ll always find a problem.
Well, you’re not perfect either. None of us are. In my opinion, you need to accept the flaws of your friend, because God knows you already accept your own.
It’s truly better to say sorry and let things go than to hold grudges. Your mental health with improve, your friendships will improve, and you’ll be less angry all the time.
A simple “I was wrong,” can go a long way, because chances are you have been as well recently.