Humans have a tendency to want to cover up their mistakes like a cat leaving the litter box. I say humans because this is not a trait exclusive among addicts, though addicts, especially sex addicts, seem to be the experts at this. Like the “Private Browsing” feature? Thank a sex addict who couldn’t remember to clear the history.
Just like the cat, however, when we try to cover up our mistakes, we’re not fooling anyone. When we ourselves are wronged, often the most frustrating part is that the other person wouldn’t just up own up to his actions.
It’s a common theme in twelve-step meetings to hear someone admit that the truth would have been easier; there was no benefit to lying, but lying became the normal thing to do. It’s a habit that’s deleterious on our relationships.
Own up to your actions. If you make a mistake, be it in your personal or professional life, admit to it. Face the consequences. The internet’s way of saying this is TIFU: “Today I F-ed up.”
TIFU at work. Ten thousand excuses went through my head. What should I say? What should I do? In the end, I simply stated, “I messed up.” I didn’t give an excuse. I didn’t rationalize my actions. I didn’t defend myself. I simply owned up and confessed my mistake.
This vulnerability is frightening because we don’t want to face the consequences. But we will face them regardless. Lying only increases the consequences. Remember, too, that people in general lie so much that the other person almost always expects a fight. It often disarms them to let your guard down and admit your mistake.