The Proper Apology
I recently received an apology that I found upsetting. I realize that we are introduced to the apology at a very young age. However, somewhere along the way, I think the true purpose of an apology has been forgotten.
An apology should restore faith and trust. It is an acknowledgement that someone has made a mistake and regrets it. To err is human, but how you identify the error and proceed says something about who you are as a person.
The apology that I received was upsetting because it was what I call the “doughnut” apology. It starts off with an “I’m sorry” that is followed by an explanation that attempts to justify a person’s poor choices. In my case, there came a suggestion of what I might do going forward to prevent this from happening again. The conclusion - “once again, please accept my apology - was ludicrous. There was no apology!
An apology says I am sorry. I did something, I feel badly about it, and it will not happen again. It may be followed by I am going to do something nice for you to show you how sorry I am. This is an apology from a person who wants another chance and should receive one. An apology is a recognition that a mistake has been made and is regretted.
So, the next time you mess up and need to apologize, take some time to think what you are going to say and do. Make sure the apology is for the other person and not just excuses for why you made a poor choice.