Thursday, November 10, 2016

Amendment to Reconciliation

Relationships of any kind seem to be topics of much interest everywhere. From youth groups to water cooler gossip to Trump's accolades. A facet of relationships that I'd like to address today is:

The Apology

I'm sure you've read various articles, or books, or what not about what an apology should look like and what it doesn't. But if you haven't, here is an example:

You bump into another person at Taco Bell, and they spill their tray of a burrito and fries and utensils.

1) Uses words like, "I'm sorry," "I apologize" - people don't like to use these terms for whatever personal reasons, but without them, it's really not an apology, it's more of a sweeping under the rug. (for example, some people will say, "excuse me" but never use the words, "I'm sorry."

2) It takes responsibility : I hit you. (have you have someone apologize to you for your action?)

3) Is specific to the action of the one apologizing, whether it's an outward expression (I'm sorry I bumped you), or an an attitude or sentiment (I'm sorry I misjudged you ...)

4) It expresses remorse, not merely for the situation (I'm sorry you dropped your tray, that is commiseration, not the same thing as an apology), but for the contribution to it by the one apologizing. (I'm sorry I bumped into you, I wasn't looking.).

5) It does not seek self-justification or make excuses (that is the prerogative of the one offended). Here is an example of justification: I'm sorry I bumped into you, but I'm just a klutz all the time.

6) It does not place the blame on others (I'm sorry I bumped into you, but if you had watched your step .... it's really the equivalent of : I'm sorry I raped you, but you were dressed that way).

7) It is considerate of the other person: I'm sorry I bumped into, are you hurt?

8) It seeks assistance. Instead of sitting from the sideline watching the other person:   I'm sorry I bumped into you. Let me help pick up that mess

9) It seeks equivalent reparation (not excessive):  Let me buy you another burrito and fries. OR Let me get you some utensils (if the burrito is still viable).

10) It reiterates sincerity: Ok, there are more utensils, I'm really sorry for disrupting your dinner (or some similar sentiment).

That's just a quick summary off the top of my head and it can stand to be elaborated on.

So now you know. But here's the kicker ... not everyone does, and they might not have been brought up as gentile or well-mannered as you. Or they might not have subscribed to this blog (how could that be?!) Or a variety of various reasons, they did not  or could not do all 9 items listed.  But now that you're aware of it, you can't (unfortunately) force other people to be aware of it. You just have to give an example of it to others.

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