How do you feel when you fail at something?

Most likely you want to pull the covers over your head and hide. Though failure may be a badge of honor in some corners of business culture (Virgin founder Richard Branson encourages, even celebrates, failure as the only way to innovate and grow), in our own lives we prefer not to broadcast it from the rooftops when we fall flat on our face.

If you mess up a client call, for instance, you’re probably not eager to talk about it with your coworkers or your boss. Even when our failures are private, our first instinct when we feel incompetent or ashamed is to tamp down those feelings, keep them to ourselves, and quickly move on.

But opening up about “unwanted outcomes” (i.e., our flops) has some surprising benefits. Research from Alison Wood Brooks, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School, shows that talking about our failures can go a long way toward taking the sting out of them, and actually make us happier, and more productive, no matter where we are on our career path.

So…let’s talk about it. Here’s how sharing your slip-ups can help you feel happier.

1. You’ll have warmer work relationships and friendships

Brooks found that sharing our failures can humanize us, making us more approachable and relatable to our coworkers. Think about the influence of social media, where everyone posts “curated, shiny” versions of themselves. Unfortunately, it “contributes to this general belief that other people don’t experience as many failures as we do,” said Brooks. Sharing our difficult, vulnerable moments opens us up to deeper, more meaningful relationships with friends and colleagues and creates a more congenial, trusting workplace.

2. You’ll become less anxious about setbacks

When we look at someone’s resume or profile on LinkedIn what we see is a list of accomplishments. If we could read between the lines of those successes we’d see the job applications that were passed over, the proposals that were rejected, and the presentations that flopped.

It’s what prompted Johannes Haushofer, an assistant professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University, to publish a CV of Failures, which includes degree programs he didn’t get into, research funding he didn’t receive, and rejections from academic journals. His point: He’s failed at a lot of things but nobody would know if he didn’t share them.

When we experience failure, we feel alone and dejected. Our failures burn in our own minds, leading to anxiety and self-doubt. But when other people are forthcoming about their slipups we become less fearful of failure, more inspired to take a chance, and not afraid of challenges. We’re also less likely to attribute our failures to our own shortcomings, rather than the fact that the world can be a random place.

3. You’ll be a role model for others

Being open about our own failures opens the door for others to confide in us. It can feel really good (and boost our own confidence) when a friend or coworker is comfortable enough to ask us for advice. Brooks’s research shows that a spirit of honesty in the workplace can also short circuit feelings of envy that often bubble up and can poison the office atmosphere. Even if your boss, or your particular office, doesn’t encourage this kind of openness, employees can still create “safe spaces” to share their struggles among themselves.

4. You’ll learn from your mistakes

Failing is part of life, there’s no getting around it. And the truth is, it’s how we learn and grow. Sharing our slipups and getting honest feedback can encourage fresh thinking on how we might do things differently next time. With a new perspective, we develop a more resilient mindset and the confidence that we won’t get crushed by future setbacks.

As you already know from using meQuilibrium, resilience is one of the best predictors of who succeeds and who does not, and who is happy and who is not. When we make the connection between resilience and awareness, we can reframe any failure as a positive learning experience.