Promptly admitting when I am wrong is the quickest way I know to deflate my ego, and not in a bad way. It reminds me I’m human, remind others I’m human, and it’s nice, almost relieving, to know that I can make a mistake, admit it, laugh it off and move on. In the past my wrongness meant anger, accusations, throwing things.

Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Depending on my environment, my apologies can come easy or take quite a bit of effort. Work apologies are pretty simple. Home apologies can be a different story. Why it’s okay for coworkers and/or complete strangers to see that I am fallible is fine, but home’s a different story, battles me.

The less important people are to me, the easier it is for me to admit mistakes to them. Maybe it’s because there’s no history, no relationship investment? No skin off my nose if Ethel the checkout clerk thinks less of me for a mistake I make at the register. With a “whoops” and a shrug and a “sorry about that”, Ethel laughs and says, “no problem.”

But my friends and family have higher expectations for me; causing me to be guarded and defensive. They know me to be perfect, and nothing less will do. Even now that they are aware of my years of secret drinking, shady excuses and disappointments, I still feel they hold me to a higher standard; that I was to be something special, an achiever.

But that’s my assuming they have assumptions. That’s making an ass out of me twice. It’s really disappointment in myself that I’m projecting far and wide. I see it in the eyes of my love ones because I’m hyper-actively looking for it. And if nothing’s there, or maybe it’s just a speck in their eye, that’s enough for me to feel like dirt.

What have I learned? That it’s all in my head. And that I place way too much emphasis on what others think of me. Mainly because most of the time, they aren’t thinking of me at all.

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