Jonathan Haidt

Finding fault with yourself is […] the key to overcoming the hypocrisy and judgmentalism that damage so many valuable relationships. The instant you see some contribution you made to a conflict, your anger softens—maybe just a bit, but enough that you might be able to acknowledge some merit on the other side. You can still believe you are right and the other person is wrong, but if you can move to believing that you are mostly right, and your opponent is mostly wrong, you have the basis for an effective and nonhumiliating apology. You can take a small piece of the disagreement and say, “I should not have done X, and I can see why you felt Y.” Then, by the power of reciprocity, the other person will likely feel a strong urge to say, “Yes, I was really upset by X. But I guess I shouldn’t have done P, so I can see why you felt Q.” Reciprocity amplified by self-serving biases drove you apart back when you were matching insults or hostile gestures, but you can turn the process around and use reciprocity to end a conflict and save a relationship.

Jonathan Haidt, The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, New York, 2006, p. 22