Why Is It So Hard to Apologize Well? - Deepstash

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Why Is It So Hard to Apologize Well?

https://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/04/magazine/04fob-wwln-t.html

nytimes.com

Why Is It So Hard to Apologize Well?
These days, saying “sorry” often sounds like a parody.

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The Most Profound Human Interaction: An Apology

The Most Profound Human Interaction: An Apology

When done rightly, apologies can heal relationships, dissolve anger and hatred, and mend broken bonds. The problem is that we don’t apologize very well, and end up stirring further anger.

Our nonapologies are ruining our relations and making our lives even more miserable and complex.

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A Successful Apology

A perfect apology has to be without ego, an expression of genuine regret, and the assumption of full responsibility: I am so sorry that you were hurt, this accident is completely my fault, and I really was going too fast, and too carelessly.

A botched or half-hearted apology taints the act of apologising, not leaving space for any further apology to arise from the other person.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

A Long, Hard Look in the Mirror

Apologies bring us face-to-face with the fact that we have something to apologize for, triggering a sense of guilt and shame. 

Saying sorry puts one’s shameful beha...

The Chance to Move Forward

When people focus on their core values, they seem to become more willing to sincerely apologize. 

By understanding the many barriers to an apology— the indifference to another’s pain or the fraying of a relationship—we can glimpse what’s holding us back from saying “I’m sorry” in a particular situation. 

From there, we have the opportunity to change course and let the healing begin.

How to Make a Good Apology

A high-quality apology has three elements:

  1. It accepts responsibility for the wrong and doesn’t even hint that outside forces, or the victim, caused the offender to do what they did.
  2. It’s unqualified. If the apology contains a “but,” it fails. There’s time later—after the injury has had time to heal—to bring up any qualifications that might be relevant to future interactions.
  3. It offers to make amends to avoid the transgression in the future.

An apology

An apology is one of the most profound interactions two human beings can have with one another.

Research by Lazare and others suggests effective apologies—meaning those that are accepted by ...

Timing

When people make the common mistake of saying they’re sorry too quickly, they can miss a crucial step towards reconciliation.

If someone commits a serious transgression, it’s best to apologize only after the victim has had a chance to “yell and vent” and fully process the betrayal.

Apologies that come too late, like those that come too early, are likely to fail; the sweet spot is somewhere between the two.

Assuring the victim

Assure the victim that the bad behavior won’t happen again.

You should be more focused on the other person, making sure they really believe that you get what you did wrong. Without that emphasis on the other person’s emotional state—and the promise of change—an apology sounds insincere.

The Rules Of Sorry

The Rules Of Sorry
  • Accept Responsibility.
  • Acknowledge harm and suffering that you may have caused.
  • Do make a promise of future correction of the mistake.
  • Be sincere.
  • Mak...

The Gratitude Trick

A recent study in a marketing journal advises to use gratitude, and start with a note of thanks towards what has been endured by the recipient.

For Example, Saying “Thank you for your patience’ instead of ‘Sorry for the wait’.

Explanations and Excuses

... along with justifications is all we normally blurt out during a heated discussion or argument, and it just makes things worse.

Focus on the present and the future, and not try to justify the past.