Clayton Echard is still on his healing journey after The Bachelor — and recently hit an important step, patching things up with Rachel Recchia.
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The 29-year-old 180 Degrees: On Mental Health, Mindfulness, and Unlocking Self-Belief author got candid on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast about the backlash he faced during season 26 of The Bachelor. Still, Clayton can admit that some “critics” were “on the money” as he “lacked empathy and emotional intelligence” when he opted to tell Rachel, 26, Gabby Windey and Susie Evans that he was in love with all three of them — and slept with the pilot and the nurse, 32.
“I didn’t make the best decisions. I mean, there were weaknesses of mine that people were calling out and they were right. It was things that I was struggling with,” Clayton told Us on Monday, February 27, while promoting his book. “Something that I really regretted was at first [was] I was very defensive post-show. I was defending all of my actions without accepting accountability for what I had done. I kept shooting myself in the foot where people were like, ‘We get what you were thinking. It doesn’t take away from the fact that you hurt these people and you’re still not accepting accountability.’ And I wasn’t accepting accountability because my ego was under attack and my ego was telling me, ‘Defend, defend, defend. Keep explaining yourself and eventually everyone, you’ll make it click for everybody.’ And thankfully, it never clicked for everybody. People got more angry and they were like, ‘This guy continues to explain himself and it’s annoying. Just accept accountability.’”
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He continued: “At that point, I was so torn down that I thought, ‘OK, this isn’t working your way, so how about you try accepting accountability and see how that goes.’ And it was very rewarding. I started accepting accountability and I was able to heal and then relationships around me were healed.”
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