I just read a great post on apologizing on PRDaily. It’s always bothered me that no one seems to be willing to really apologize. As the post suggests, an apology is not an explanation of why you are right. It’s not an opportunity to point out how wrong or ridiculous the other person is for “taking it wrong.”
Integrity requires that we be honest about our shortcomings. We may as well; we’re not fooling anyone. Our partner, spouse, best friend, parent or child knows our frailties and faults very well. There’s no integrity in trying to deny what’s as plain as day. It breaks trust and insults the other person. It creates a barrier of dishonesty.
If the relationship is important, isn’t it worth humbling ourselves to just admit we messed up?
I hate apologies that are veiled attempts to just make it go away. An apology should never include the word if. If you’ve hurt me, you make it worse by trying to sweep it under the rug and minimize it.
Apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way — Marc Ensign, author of the PRDaily post, says:
Well, it’s time to get over yourself. Learn not only to apologize, but also how to apologize the right way. Yes, that’s right. There is a right way and a wrong way to apologize. Chances are, when you do get around to apologizing, it’s the wrong way. Let me guess, it probably goes something like this:
“I’m sorry if I upset you. OK?”
Other variations include replacing, “OK?” with, “There!” or, “Are we done now?”
The preceding is not an apology
I’m betting you have a friend or family member who does this. Because you wouldn’t, right?