There comes a time in everyone's life for apologies. Whether the person is someone you struggle with getting along with/they are nearby, the need for the art of apology seems staggering. In light of the fact that "those times" come very often in my life as I have a blind, stubborn need to be in a position to apologize, I've decided to share with the world wide web some things I've learned in the apology minefield.
1. When you know you need to give an apology:
a. Straight after a word/action, you feel that horrible thing in your gut that isn't indigestion, but more the realization of your own depravity has suddenly balled itself up and settled in the base of your stomach. It is seemingly unmovable at this point.
b. The look on the person's face who you've offended, causes your inward being to shrink to the size of q-tip and you find yourself looking for holes in the ground in which to plunge your head/face/neck.
c. The words that come flinging/flailing out of your mouth are strung together not out of reason or rationale, but more out of furious, half-insane emotion tangled up with rageful, unapologetic idiocy.
2. When to not apologize:
a. When the person to whom you owe the apology is still foaming-at-the-mouth angry.
b. When you you look good and they don't.
c. When you're not really sorry. (Duh).
3. How to apologize via some media:
i. Don't ramble. Or do ramble. Either way to get your point clearly stated -- or just stated at all.
ii. Introduce yourself as the offended person may have erased your phone number already and doesn't know who's calling (....or is that just my own nasty habit?)
iii. Feel free to make jokes. My personal favorite is a "Knock, Knock" -- ever-classy and always lightens the mood.
i. This is your chance to be eloquent and thoughtful even if you are not eloquent and thoughtful. So be precise in your words. Say exactly what you mean to say, because you have time to think, edit, rewrite, start over....
c. Some chat medium
i. Stay. Away. Things are 99 % likely to be misunderstood. Sincerity is suddenly sarcasm, and hurt is lost in the sea of ambiguous Smileys.
4. My favorite choice words to use during actual apology:
a. "I'm an idiot."
b. "I think too much and/or not enough."
c. "You were nearby?"
d. "I was WRONG." (*Key phrase)
5. Things to avoid:
a. Telling the person they are an idiot.
b. Pointing out their need to apologize.
c. Looking better than the other person while apologizing.
d. Being an idiot in the apology as well as the offense.