How to not blow your next apology

The four parts of a true apology—and not one of those, ‘I’m sorry IF I offended you’ cop-outs.

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There is a stigma attached to it. It means that you are wrong. And you are never wrong, right?

If you are wrong, then you’re not perfect. And if you’re not perfect, then you have given up some form of power or control. And if you have given up some form of power or control, then your parents probably didn’t love you or something. (I’m not sure why; I just know it always leads back to your parents.)

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

That is a request to shut up and change the subject. That type of apology makes matters worse. And yet, we find it acceptable. It is good enough to close the books on the problem, for now. Eventually, you are going to screw up again, at which point your crappy little apology won’t hold water, leaving you with two problems.

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