It can be downright frustrating to have evidence that someone is wrong and yet have that person deny that fact. While you want to have your man admit that he has made an error, it’s important to approach him in a way that doesn’t make him feel defensive. Getting your man to admit that he is wrong shouldn’t feel like a win-lose situation for either of you. Instead, you can both have your needs met without feeling like you’ve had to compromise in some way. This requires that you help a man see the benefit to you and to him in admitting he is wrong.
Collect the evidence to support your belief that the man is wrong. You can claim till you’re blue in the face that you know he’s wrong, but evidence speaks volumes without blame. It’s nearly impossible to argue with facts, so gather as many as you can before confronting your man. Take notes, gather names and collect photographic evidence if necessary and if possible. If someone else can attest to the fact that your guy is wrong, ask them to accompany you to speak with him about the situation. Avoid hearsay and conjecture, which can be created as a result of perception, not facts.
Schedule a convenient time to sit with your man and have a frank discussion about what has transpired that leads you to believe he should admit he is wrong. Be clear in identifying to yourself why you need him to admit that he is wrong, because if the sole reason is so you can be right or feel justified, weigh the cost versus benefit ratio of getting what you want. Choose a location for your discussion that is private and relatively quiet.
Explain to your man, why you believe he is wrong, using the evidence you’ve gathered. Being “innocent until proven guilty” isn’t just a characteristic of legal arbitration, it should be assumed when explaining your side of the story to your man. Avoid blame or judgment but provide him with the evidence you’ve collected, including any statements made by other people who also believe he is wrong. It is a common mistake to be judgmental with the intention of the faux pas than the mistake itself, explains Dr. Alex Lickerman in the online publication "How To Admin You're Wrong." Stick primarily to “I” statements, only resorting to “you” when describing what the man has done wrong.
Request that he admit he is wrong. You may never hear him admit he did or said something in error, but not asking him to admit it may leave him without feeling obligated to do so. State clearly “I have given you evidence and explained why I believe you were wrong and I would like you to admit that you were wrong.” Avoid embellishing and don’t insist or repeat your request once it’s been made. Allow your man time to process your request and your evidence and use that time to determine what, if any, consequence you are prepared to administer if he chooses not to admit he is wrong. Consequences don’t necessarily have to be punitive, so if your man has been wrong in stating that you didn’t put gas in the car, you can choose to have him drive his car from now on.
Maura Banar has been a professional writer since 2001 and is a psychotherapist. Her work has appeared in "Imagination, Cognition and Personality" and "Dreaming: The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Dreams." Banar received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Buffalo State College and her Master of Arts in mental health counseling from Medaille College.
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