“I’m sorry.” These two simple words have the power to change the dynamics of a relationship within a matter of seconds. But if used incorrectly these words also have the power to destroy that relationship. It’s also funny how these two words can be the most difficult words to say. Why can saying “I’m sorry,” be so difficult? Is it the fear of admitting that you really screwed up which means you are going to have to look into that mirror of shame? Or is it the fear that it would be a sign of weakness? Or that it makes you more vulnerable?
SO how does one apologize? Well we could start by looking at the worst possible ways one can apologize. Be honest and ask yourself if you have ever used one of these ways to apologize?
Technology Apology (aka John Mayer, Kayne West): No matter how many times you apologize via email, text, Facebook, twitter, and Instagram, it is still NOT an apology. Face it, you’re looking for the easy escape route. With today’s technology, even a monkey could apologize and that is not saying much!
The BUT Apology: I am sorry I was nasty to you on face book, BUT that is not what I really meant. You misunderstood me. Or “I’m sorry I was late but my life is crazier than yours.”I’m sorry I lost my temper with you and said some horrible things but my mom was never nice to me growing up. I’m sorry BUT..fill in the blank
The Cosmo with a hint of BUT Apology. OMG I am so sorry, but it was that fifth cosmo that made me say those embarrassing things to your new date.
The Blame Shift Apology: This is right up there with the technology apology “I am sorry you feel that way.” This is them saying they are sorry your sad but not for what they did. It is much easier than admitting “I’m sorry I was such a snotty human being to you yesterday.”
The Clinton Apology: Pretend it never happened: “Yes I was in the bar dancing with you. I didn’t pull up your dress in a bar full of men”
The Smarmy Gossipy Apology. “ I’m sorry I hurt your feelings, I didn’t mean to do that”…..PAUSE….”Look I just want you to know that some other people feel this way about you…it’s not me that feels this way…I just wanted you to know.” Wow not only did I get no apology, but I also find out you have been gossiping about me!
The Jokey Apology: “I’m sorry, I was just joking when I said you was stupid.” You can be so sensitive, just lighten up. I said I was sorry.
Blame it on the Family Apology: I’m sorry, it my genetics, I have a difficulty time controlling my rudeness
So in a nutshell, “own it, do it and mean it” Put yourself in the other persons shoes and ask how you would want that apology and if you get even a hint of wanting to smack them in the face, then my guess is, that is not the right apology.