How to Apologize
I know how this post comes across… I turned 30 and all of a sudden I’m this wise bitch with all the answers. Truthfully, I had a post planned for today about my 30th birthday celebrations and the hangover but nothing… absolutely NOTHING… went according to plan. Not even the hangover. Countless Vegas bombs and I woke up feeling like a million bucks (a very tired million bucks). No complaints here, though.
When it comes to conflict, everyone can agree that it gets a little uncomfortable. One thing I like about myself is that I feel like I can handle conflict pretty well. I don’t go out looking for it but when an issue needs to be fixed, I’m more than willing to talk it through and fix it. I’m not one of those who give the silent treatment or likes to brush things under the rug. Just ask my husband. Lolz
Through my experience (you know… life) I’ve learned a couple key points to making a conflict resolution go smoothly and it really boils down to an apology. An apology… like a sincere and heartfelt apology goes a long way with a lot of people.
Swallow your pride.
Admitting you did something wrong or you were in the wrong is not the easiest or most fun thing to do.
Given that we usually fancy ourselves practically perfect in every way (much like Mary Poppins), admitting that we are wrong or did something wrong hurts our pride quite a bit.
But, in order to give a sincere apology, this is usually necessary. Actually saying, “I was wrong” in your apology will show that you are human and that you recognize your fault(s).
Example: Janet finds out that her bestie Pam decided to skip Janet’s graduation party to go play bingo with the hot guy from HR. Pam is probably going to have to say something along the lines of, “I was so excited that hot guy invited me to go play bingo and my judgment got clouded from his love potion. It’s no excuse and I know that I was very wrong and I’m really sorry for hurting your feelings.”
Just because you didn’t mean to hurt someone’s feelings doesn’t mean you didn’t.
We all make mistakes and we are all human. Sometimes we do things without thinking and unintentionally hurt others. However, just because you didn’t mean to hurt someone doesn’t mean you didn’t.
I mean really, I’d like to think that no one ever actually intends to hurt someone’s feelings… but I mean we are one big world. Different strokes, y’know?
I deal with this a lot with my husband. He tends to get a little defensive when I inform him his actions or words hurt my feelings. Immediately, he demands that he didn’t mean to upset me and I’m quick to tell him I know he didn’t mean to but it doesn’t change the fact that he did… and now he owes me chocolate. lolz.
Like that time he told me I needed to fix my hair before we went to dinner because it looked like a homeless woman’s hair. Side note: I had asked him if I should keep my hair that way or change it. Second side note: I had just walked in the door from getting PROFESSIONAL PICTURES TAKEN.
Yeah… that upset me… as the women reading this are saying DUH! And my husband is cursing me for bringing it up…. it’s funny now, babe. I promise I laugh about it.
When someone comes to you and informs them you’ve upset them, the worst thing you can do is make them feel like their feelings don’t matter.
When you make excuses or simply say you didn’t mean to hurt their feelings without offering an apology this can come across as not validating hurt feelings and a little condescending.
Agree to disagree if necessary.
Words don’t always fix everything and sometimes you have to agree to disagree in order to move forward.
Sometimes swallowing your pride and admitting you were wrong isn’t possible when you really feel as if you were not in the wrong.
An apology doesn’t mean that you agree on everything or that you have to admit you were wrong when you don’t believe that to be true. It simply means you recognize you’ve hurt someone, you are sorry for doing so and you will do your best to never repeat the same actions.
Example: Penny shows up to Grandma’s funeral in the silver disco ball dress because Grandma always said was her favorite dress. When Penny’s parents are horrified and hurt that she would dare wear something disrespectful and inappropriate, Penny will probably have to apologize for upsetting anyone but also agree to disagree about the meaning of wearing the dress.
Apologize with the intent to move forward and don’t hold a grudge.
In addition to an apology, it’s humbling and appropriate to ask for forgiveness.
A sincere apology will be one with the intent to mend fences and move forward in a positive matter. The past is the past and all that jargon.
On the flip side… if you are accepting an apology, it is important to remember not to hold the situation over someone’s head.
Grudges are tough and it’s very easy to remember that Judy was drunk and called you a bitch at the office Christmas party. But when Judy comes to you to apologize and you accept her apology, you lose the right to throw that back in her face when she gets drunk at Happy Hour after work and accidentally spills wine all over your new bag.
Well, that’s all I got for ya today, folks. Have a good one.
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