Last time we spoke I confessed that I had been wrong… for nine years.
And I knew I had to apologize.
But it sucks admitting you're wrong.
I knew if I apologized the wrong way, I'd get the “I told you so.”
I hate the I told you so.
I don't hate many things.
The typical big stuff in the world that most people hate, I hate.
I very much hate, “hate.”
Grey's Anatomy is close.
And that show right after it that's the exact same show as Grey's Anatomy but with different actors. That's close, too.
And tomatoes. I hate 'em.
I hate the “I told you so” more than tomatoes.
So I needed to apologize right so I got the point across and didn't get the “I told you so” in return.
For the record, she did tell me so.
I just didn't want to hear it.
It would take every ounce of patience to not reopen the argument just to defend myself to get the point across that, yes, she told me so but I had some valid points… (see what happened there? right back in the argument!).
So I thought about making it a huge deal and then bringing it back down.
You know, like telling your parents you totaled the car and then when they're just about to have a fit you say “just kidding, I got a D on my science test.” One of those, lead with something HUGE so the truth doesn't seem as bad.
But then I risked having the “why would you do that to me” argument.
And the apology would get lost.
So I just did it. Really casually.
I did it over the phone. Long story short is we spend at least three weeks of the summer in MA. My wife's mom lives near a beach. But sometimes I need to work, so instead of packing everyone up and going back and forth, she just stays there and I go back and forth.
But I have a big work project now so I won't see her for another 10 days or so and didn't want to wait.
So I did it. On the phone.
I literally said: “Hey, remember all those times we argued about moving back to MA and I kept saying NY or NJ was home?”
“Remember?!? Yeah…. of course I remember. Why?” she asked suspiciously.
“Well,” I responded, casually, “it turns out you were right. I was wrong. I thought home was where we worked and lived, but I now realize that home was MA the whole time, where our families are.”
Like so much silence that I looked at my phone to make sure the time was still ticking up.
And then she broke the silence.
“Really?” she asked, very swiftly, as if the “e” and the “a” weren't there.
“Yes. I'm sorry. I was wrong,” I replied.
And then in a goofy “is this a trick” voice, she responded “Is this part of your blog?!?!”
Ha! Yeah, I guess it is, technically, although that wasn't really the point….
So I just casually said: “Yeah, it's on the blog, but I wanted to make sure you knew that I was sorry.”
She said something like “Woooooaaahhh, thanks.”
And then I changed the subject.
Crisis averted. She knew I was sorry.
And I told her.
It means you were wrong about something.
But it is dangerous territory if you don't do it right.
It can get you right back in the argument.
Casual worked this time.
It feels pretty good.
So thanks for the encouraging words. You played a big role in this. 🙂
How do you apologize and avoid rehashing the argument?