We all screw up. When you screw up though, try not to make matters worse by delivering a sorry-ass “I’m sorry.” Here are a few tips from me, who has admittedly delivered and received some apologies that were more useless than Robin was to Batman.
- Don’t use the word “IF.” A sorry is an acknowledgement that you made a mistake, did something wrong, or hurt someone. When you say, “ I am sorry IF I ….” , you are saying that you may or may not have done something wrong. The definition of if is “in case that”, which is failure to accept responsibility for your actions or lack thereof.
- Don’t apologize, and then justify. When you justify you are defending the very actions that you are supposedly apologizing for. “I am sorry that I hit you, but you made me so mad when you said my momma was so ugly that Hello Kitty said goodbye to her.
- Don’t Flip the Script. When someone is mad about something you’ve done; you don’t have to get mad too. I’ve been mad at someone and told them off about it; but they ended up mad at me for what I said when I was angry. Then I ended up apologizing. WTF!
Don’t apologize; then attack the person because they are not accepting your apology fast enough. Not cool.
- Don’t apologize and then make the same mistake during your apology.
- Don’t apologize and then act like you deserve a freaking medal for apologizing. And that your apology magically makes any bad deed disappear. “But I apologized—geez.”
If you are truly regretful for something you have done or said, do the following:
- Own what you did completely. Take responsibility.
- Show remorse.
- Explain how what you did may have made the other person feel.
- Fix what you did, if possible. People say that they just want an I’m sorry, but sometimes that actually want you to make it right. You forgot someone’s birthday? Don’t just say I’m sorry , but take them out for an epic birthday night.
Take a clue from Steve Harvey. His apology not only made people forgive him; he broadened his fan base and made people love him more. You apology can either make the situation worse or better. It’s up to you to decide if you want to make the doghouse a permanent residence.
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more