Last night Raul said to me: “You always forget to put water in the dishes. It takes just a second and it makes washing the dishes later much easier.”* He was right, but I didn’t say so. Instead I went on the defensive. I came up with excuses as to why I’d forgotten this time when the reality was yes, I had simply forgotten to do so. We worked it out, but only after experiencing irritation on both sides.
Then this morning Raul left his breakfast dishes sitting out, the milk and cereal drying in them. I sent him a very polite message saying that if he was going to ask something of me that he should be willing to do the same, or he’d really piss me off.
He texted me back right away saying: “You’re totally right. I’m sorry.”**
No defensiveness, no excuses. A simple agreement and an apology.
I can learn a lot from this man.
- When someone suggests something, don’t dismiss it or get defensive. They might just be right.
- We all hate to be wrong, but life goes much more smoothly when we’re big enough to admit to our faults.
* In Spanish.
** Also in Spanish.