The other night my wife Corrie was doing laundry and discovered something that had a stain on it. After searching the laundry room she discovered that she didn’t have what she needed to properly treat the stain. So she asked me to go to the grocery store and pick it up.
I did. Walked in. Went straight to the correct aisle. Looked at the detergents, but couldn’t find the powder version she requested. They had powder in every other name brand, but not the one she wanted. So I found the liquid in that same brand. It said “Stain Remover” on the front. I paid for it, and returned home.
When I walked in, Corrie immediately noticed that I had liquid instead of powder. She said, “I don’t think this will work. I needed the powder.” I calmly responded, “They didn’t have powder. I looked ‘EVERYWHERE’. They had it in other brands, but not this one.” She replied, “I’m pretty sure they did, I was just in the store earlier today.”……
This is the point in the story where I started acting like a child. In no uncertain terms I told her it was insulting that she didn’t believe me when I told her it wasn’t there. I said if she was so sure it was there she could go look herself…(or something like that. I don’t exactly remember.)
She remained calm and just said, “I think you may have been looking with the detergents, but the powder would be with the stain remover. Did you look there?” (I had NOT looked there)
I grabbed the liquid bottle, walked back out the door, drove back to the store, told the guy I needed to exchange it, walked to the correct aisle, passed the detergents, found the stain removers…and there it was…right where she said it would be.
I came home, tail between my legs, and apologized to my wife for acting like an idiot. She was so kind the whole time it made my behavior even worse.
I don’t tell you that story to demonstrate my ignorance about detergents. That’s painfully obvious.
I tell this story to ask us all a question.
Why do we get so upset about being wrong?
I know Corrie loves me. I know she knows I’m not perfect. So why did I take a posture that she was insulting me for being wrong, when I was, in fact, wrong? She wasn’t even upset that I got the wrong kind.
Why do we lash out? Why do we lie to cover up our mistakes? Why do we get so angry?
Most of the time I think we act this way out of our insecurity. Other times it’s our pride.
What if you took 2 minutes and evaluated your recent similar reactions to the one I just described? Why were you so upset? Drill down beyond your behavior to the motivations that caused your reaction.
Maybe these 2 minutes will save you embarrassment, hurt, and a necessary apology next time.