When I finished my year of blogging last year, I felt very enlightened. I was a man who had written his way through some existential situations – some about my own ills, some about activities to do as a couple and some about my own underpants. I was a man who felt assured of himself.
Well, here we are a year later, and I am proud to say things are still pretty good. I’m engaged to a wonderful woman, I love my job and the career path I’m on, and I have grown an extensive network here in New York that makes my new city feel like home. And yet there’s this inescapable truth I cannot dodge: I make a lot of mistakes (see the aforementioned underwear post).
Taking Responsibility For Mistakes – Especially The Stupid Ones
Though I love both my fiancé and my job (albeit in very different ways), I have often made silly mistakes with both parts of my life. I learned early on in my career that one of my greatest strengths was admitting weaknesses; one manager in my early days in retail told me, “Aaron, if there’s one thing you do well, it’s grab the sword and fall on it.” I was not a good fit with the manager who told me that, but it was a trait that helped us gain a sort of mutual respect for one another that eventually helped me to become a very skilled worker.
I take that same approach to my love life now. My fiancé and I, as in any healthy relationship, often fight over very stupid things. Whether it’s my smelly towels, something dumb I’ve said or how long we should cook zucchini, I am quick to acknowledge my idiocy. “I am an idiot” is a line that immediately disarms my fiancé, especially if I say it in an extremely honest manner, as if it is the only conclusion as to why I could have made the mistake I made. It may not entirely solve an argument, but it helps us come to a place of understanding. Sometimes, it might be the only reason I’ve done something stupid and my fiancé realizes she needs to teach me something or realizes that now that I’m aware of my mistake, I’ll fix it. I am pro-active and I deal well with criticism. Both of those parts of my personality help counteract my occasional idiocy.
Don’t Let Pride Get In The Way
I find this to be true for more than just the “doofy husband/dad” stereotype I may be furthering here (see “Married with Children,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” etc.). Everyone makes mistakes and it so often hurts our precious egos to admit that we could be wrong, Even if it’s true that towels should be washed occasionally and that I shouldn’t mush clothing I intend to wear again into a pile on my dresser, it’s not fun having it pointed out to you. Our pride can so often get in the way of actual communication because it’s hard to admit when you’re wrong. But after the first time you use the “I am an idiot” tactic to make up after a fight, you’ll never care about being right again.