Some things are much harder to admit than others. The fact that you haven’t splurged on a soda in two weeks–falls out of your mouth. Telling someone that you don’t know the answer to something–a bit harder. Telling someone that you were wrong–pharaoh’s chariots would have a hard time pulling that from your lips. But often, those tough things to admit are the most effective things you can say. People value honestly and transparency. Plus, faking something that others can see straight through is never wise. Here are a few phrases we could all afford to say more often. Practice them a few times in front of a mirror if you need to.
I don’t know.
It should not surprise anyone when you say this. None of us know everything. Admitting that you don’t know something is the first step to learning how to do whatever that thing is. And humbly learning how something works is much better than pretending you already know, and you avoid the risk of being found out when you fail.
I need help.
Once we get the above statement down, this one is next. If you don’t know how to do something, what better way to learn than being taught by someone who does? Sure, you could try over and over in vain–and hey, maybe eventually you would figure it out. But it is a much better use of your time and easier on your nerves to simply ask someone to lend their knowledge. In the process you will make that person feel great because of their ability to help you and your belief in them.
Say it and own it. These words, said in a genuine way, are one of the best ways to defuse a tense situation. When you know that you are wrong or have wronged someone, don’t waste time. The longer you wait, the more resentment will build. But you know that–you’ve been on the other side of this one.
I was wrong.
This may be the hardest of anything in this list to admit to ourselves…and nearly impossible to say out loud. But admitting this shows a lot of maturity and humility and will be well received by those around you. Again, you know this because you know how great it feels to have these words shared with you.
The best and healthiest things for us are rarely the easiest to do. These phrases are no exception. But being the kind of person who can say these simple words with tact will put you miles ahead of the pack.