Beaniekins (beaniekins) wrote,

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And now: A guest speaker.

With permission from the wonderful Eyelid, who wrote it, I bring you possibly the best thing ever written. It should be required reading for the entire human race.

How To Make An Apology

I was thinking to myself, people generally do not get how to do apologies. There should be a tutorial. Apologies are a major life skill.

I am good at apologies. Because, I know each and every weasel I'm thinking of slipping in there, and I weed them out. Cause if you put them in it's not a real apology. So here's my advice:

First, basic rule: don't say you're sorry if you're not. This can be hard if you are mad at something they've done wrong. In such a situation, repeat to yourself: "it is true that they did XYZ, but that doesn't excuse my behavior." (Cause it generally doesn't) Ask yourself, if I were perfect, what would I have done?'s probably different from what you actually did. And if not, why the hell are you apologizing?? That just makes you a liar. But this is unlikely; in my experience everyone is always doing something wrong.

Tips on the apology itself:

1) Admit that you were wrong. you'd be surprised how many people fuck this bit up. Don't slide around it. Take it on squarely. Jump right into that pool of cold water. It's not so bad as you think. And it's 90% of what the other person wants to hear.

2) Ignore what they did wrong, at least for the duration of the apology. Even if you believe you weren't entirely wrong, figure out some part of what you did that was wrong, and apologize for that.

3) do not add, "but..." I cannot stress this enough. If you add "but," it's no longer an apology. Do not even bother giving an apology that contains a "but."

4) do not say, "I'm sorry if...." e.g. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. I'm sorry if I was wrong. What you are trying to do here is pretend that there is a possibility that you didn't do anything wrong. Dude, you know you hurt person X's feelings, that's why you're apologizing. cut the weaseling. It's "I'm sorry I hurt your feelings," or just shut the fuck up.

5) there generally needs to be some explanation (i.e. "I just wasn't thinking"). But do not try to slip some blame onto the other person in the explanation. You know, in some sketchy, scheming part of your mind, when you are doing this. Try to keep explanation down to one sentence to avoid temptation. "I overreacted and said things I shouldn't have," = good. "I was angry because when you said XYZ, it pushed my buttons..." = bad.

6) Also, don't let explanation become justification. Keep firmly in mind that whatever the situation, you did something wrong. No matter how dumb the other person is, they know exactly what you're doing when you're spinning a long tale "explaining." You're telling them all the reasons why really, you're not sorry at all, or at least why you shouldn't be.

7) Don't lie. "I didn't mean to hurt you." Yes you did. "I didn't know." Of course you knew. "I thought it would be ok." No you didn't. This is ass-covering. Cut it out.

8) don't end with "I hope you can forgive me." you see what you just did? Suddenly it's all on their shoulders. you're laying a guilt-trip obligation on them. If they don't forgive they are jerks. blah. This will make most people bristle, though they might not know why. Also, it sounds like you're signing off. "sorry, hope you can forgive me, bye." You're not invested in making it up to them. You're done with it just hope they can forgive you. lame lame lame.

9) style points: you get extra points for sincere praise, indications that you understand and appreciate their position, and statements about how you will reform and try not to be a jerk anymore (so long as you mean it).

If you follow these rules, you will most likely produce a very good apology, and the world will instantly be a better place. Also, odds are they will probably apologize back for what they did wrong. That is the hidden toy at the bottom of the apology cereal box.

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