Once again, I was over at Simple Marriage’s blog and saw an article that’s critical to any relationship…whether it be a parent-child, spouse to spouse, or friendship. The title was 5 Steps To A Genuine Apology and you can click on the title to get to the actual article.
I’m sure we’ve all been victims of the non-apology apology: “I’m sorry that your feelings were hurt.” Huh??? “I’m sorry that you misunderstood what I meant.” Wha??? “I’m sorry I kissed your boyfriend but I thought you were out of town.” Hmmmpft! The good part about this list is that there’s no space for defending your offensive actions. You can’t apologize AND say “but this is why I did it”. They don’t care why you did it silly, just apologize and keep it movin’!
Anyhoo, I’m sniping the five things to post up over here and would love to hear from you in the comments!
- Describe the event (WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE)
- Tell what you did and describe the action
- Acknowledge the damage done
- Tell what you wish you had done instead
- Tell what you PLAN to do differently the next time.
Yesterday when we were in the car (where), you (who) were telling me how you handled a situation at work (what) . . .
. . . and I said, in a sarcastic manner (how I acted) that I thought the way you handled the situation was stupid (what I did). I want you to know that I was rude to use such a harsh word as stupid. It was judgmental of me to think that I knew better how to handle that situation at your work. I think that speaking to you in a sarcastic manner was disrespectful and contemptuous and not the way I want to treat you.
I know that it hurt you for me to label your actions as stupid and to speak to you in a sarcastic manner. I know that my thoughtless words reflected a lack of confidence in your abilities and my sarcastic tone was unkind and necessary.
I wish that I had been more thoughtful and kind and chosen my words more carefully. I wish I had talked about the many school situations you have handled successfully.
The next time you are telling me about something that happens at work, I plan to listen better, ask more questions, and choose my words carefully. I plan to focus on my knowledge of your strengths. And I commit to you my intent to speak to you in a manner that reflects how much I care for you and about our relationship.