E3 Det How To Apologize

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E3 Det How To Apologize

  1. 1. ENGLISH 3 READING APOLOGIES, EXCUSES AND THANKS 1 How to Apologize 2 We all know what an apology is--an expression of remorse or guilt over having done something that is 3 acknowledged to be wrong, and a request for forgiveness. But we also know it can be really hard to 4 swallow our pride and say "I'm sorry." If you have a difficult time making amends for mistakes or 5 repairing the effects of angry words, here's how to keep your dignity while being humble, and invite 6 forgiveness with grace. 7 Steps 8 1. Determine what went wrong. Did you say something insensitive, no matter how true it is? Did you 9 fail to come through on a promise? Was the offense recent or long ago? You can't apologize 10 effectively if you don't know what you are apologizing for. If you don't think you did anything wrong, 11 then express regret or sadness for the feeling that someone is experiencing as a result of what 12 you did (see Warnings). Presuming the effect was unintended, the basis of the apology often lies 13 in not having foreseen how your actions would affect this person, realizing that the benefits of the 14 action did not outweigh the unforeseen circumstances, and wanting to compensate for your 15 oversight. 16 2. Take full responsibility for the offense, without sharing the blame with anyone else and without 17 presenting mitigating circumstances--an incomplete apology often feels more like an insult. It may 18 very well be that other people or circumstances contributed to the situation, but you cannot 19 apologize for them; you can only apologize for yourself, so leave them out of it. 20 3. Decide when to apologize. Sometimes immediately after your mistake is best, sometimes not. The 21 sting of a harsh word can be cooled right away with a quick apology, but other offenses might 22 need the other person to cool down before they are willing to even listen to your next sentence. 23 However, the sooner you apologize for your mistake, the more likely it will be viewed as an error in 24 judgment and not a character flaw. 25 26 4. Write your apology down. Construct a letter to the person you're apologizing to, rehearsing what 27 you will say in person. If you don't feel comfortable with writing, then use a voice recorder. Not 28 only will this help you remember what to say when you're face to face with them, but you can also 29 bring the copy with you and hand it to them if you find the apology quite difficult to express. But 30 don't forget that a direct and honest apology is best. Do it face to face, if possible. A phoned, emailed or recorded apology shows a lack of sincerity and effort and should only be a last resort. 31 5. Begin the apology by naming the offense and the feelings it may have caused. Be specific about 32 the incident so that they know exactly what you're apologizing for. Make it a point to avoid using 33 the word "but". ("I am sorry, but..." means "I am not sorry.") Validate their feelings or discomfort by 34 acknowledging your transgression's (potential) effects: 35 36 "Boss, I'm sorry I'm late again, I know my shift started 10 minutes ago. I hope this doesn't complicate your day." 37 38 "Dear, I'm sorry I forgot your birthday - there's no excuse. I hope you don't feel neglected, please let me set this right." 39 40 6. Make amends. Think about what caused you to make the offense. Is it because you're a little too 41 laid back about being on time, or remembering important dates? Is it because you tend to react 42 instantly to certain comments, without pausing to consider an alternative point of view? Is it 43 because you are unhappy with your life, and you unknowingly take it out on others? Find the 44 underlying problem, describe it to the person (as an explanation, not an excuse), and tell them what you intend to do to rectify that problem so that you never repeat this mistake again: 45 46 "I snapped at you because I've been so stressed out with work lately, and it's selfish of me to
  2. 2. ENGLISH 3 READING APOLOGIES, EXCUSES AND THANKS 47 take it out on you. Starting tomorrow, I'm going to cut down my hours to X per week. I really think it'll help me unwind, and help us spend more quality time together." 48 49 "I've been distant and cold because I get paranoid that you're going to walk out on me because I 50 don't have a job. But that's a terrible thing to do. Look, here's a list of things I'm going to do to find a job ASAP..." 51 52 7. Express your appreciation for the role they play in your life, emphasizing that you do not want to 53 jeopardize or damage the relationship. This is the time to briefly recount what has created and 54 sustained the bond over time and tell loved ones that they are indeed loved. Describe what your life would be missing without their trust and their company. 55 56 8. Ask if they will give you a chance to make up for what you did wrong. Insist on proving to them that 57 you have learned from your mistake, and that you will take action to change and grow as a result, if 58 they will let you. Make a clear request for forgiveness and wait for their answer. This gives the 59 injured party the well deserved "power" in determining the outcome of the situation. 60 61 9. Be patient. If an apology is not accepted, thank them for hearing you out and leave the door open 62 for if they wish to reconcile later. (E.g. "I understand you're still upset about it, but thanks for giving 63 me the chance to apologize. If you ever change your mind, please give me a call.") If you are lucky 64 enough for your apology to be accepted, avoid the temptation to throw in a few excuses at the 65 end. Instead, have a transition planned out beforehand for what you can do to solidify the clean slate (e.g. "Let's go get some coffee and catch up. It'll be my treat. I miss knowing what you're up 66 to."). 67 68 10. Stick to your word. This is the most important step. A true apology entails a resolution, and you 69 have to carry out your promise in order for the apology to be sincere and complete. Otherwise, your apologies will lose their meaning, and trust may disappear beyond the point of no return. 70 Follow through. Tips 71 72 73 • If you can, pull the person aside so that you can apologize while you're alone. Not only will this reduce the likelihood of other people influencing the person's decision, but it will also make you a 74 little less nervous. 75 • Use relaxed and humble body language. Keeping your arms crossed or pointing fingers will put 76 the other person on the defensive. 77 78 • One apology will often cause another, either from you for something else you realized you are sorry for, or from the other person because they realize the conflict was mutual. Be prepared to 79 forgive. 80 • A proper apology is always about the injured party. Keep your apology focused on the recipient. 81 Warnings 82 • Don't be a pushover and apologize for doing things that you should not be sorry for, like being 83 yourself. 84 • Sometimes attempted apologies turn into a rehash of the same argument you wanted to amend. 85 Be very careful not to re-argue any topics or open any old wounds. 86 • Don't be too surprised (or suspicious) if you are forgiven. Take people at their word, just like they took your apology.
  3. 3. ENGLISH 3 READING APOLOGIES, EXCUSES AND THANKS FROM : http://www.wikihow.com/Apologize

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