“I’m sorry,” he says. “I was a jerk.”
“It’s okay,” I say. “I don’t think you’re a jerk. I didn’t like what you said, but I’m glad you’ve apologized.”
He smiles. “I’m going to work on not snapping like that in the future. Not saying something hurtful I don’t mean.”
“Thank you,” I say. “That’d be great.” And then I add, “So what should I work on?”
“What?” he says. “What do you mean?”
“I want to know what I could have done better,” I reply.
“But you didn’t do anything wrong,” he says. “I was just being a jerk.”
I sigh. “I’d like something to work on though.”
“Why’s that?” he asks.
“Because if there’s an issue, I want there to be something that’s my fault. Something that I could have done better. Because I feel good if I have something to work on.”
“But you didn’t do anything wrong,” he replies.
I know it sounds bizarre as we’re talking. And as the minutes go on, it becomes more and more evident that I’m not hitting home.
I don’t really care whose fault it is, when there’s a conflict. Well, that’s not exactly true. But I find that most other people want the other person to be wrong. They want the other person to take the blame. To have the person they’re fighting with be the cause of the argument.
But for me, that’s almost the worst case scenario. I hate that feeling. When the other person is to blame. When they’re the only one who’s done something wrong.
Because I hate the feeling that there’s nothing I can do to make a situation better.
Instead, I prefer situations in which we both have something to work on. Heck, I even prefer situations in which I’m solely to blame (although those can be difficult and humbling, when I’ve been in them).
Or in other words, I want it to be my fault, so I can fix it.
Whatever it is.