We all mess up big from time to time. While it might be tempting to share a selective version of your screw up, researched published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that won't help ease the guilt.
Picture: With Associates
According to the research, when faced with confessing past transgressions, those who only owned up to part of their mistakes reported both a higher level of regret and a lower level of relief after telling the tale:
People who described partial confessions expressed higher regret than people who reported full confessions. The experimenters were unable to determine if participants regretted their decision to confess or if they regretted their decision to confess only partially.
However, full confessors were more relieved after their confessions when compared to partial confessors, and partial confessors felt more guilt than the full confessors, according to the findings.
The research concluded that partial confession methods run contradictory to the intended effect. While those confessing hope to ease their guilt load by coming clean about some of what they did wrong, many of the participants ended up feeling more guilty overall for failing to share the full story.
Only a Full Confession Seems to Ease Emotional Burden [Psych Central]