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Sorry

by Adam Zack — June 30, 2020

Can’t wait until the next time I screw up

There is an art to apologizing. No, I shouldn’t say art, because that implies that with a lot of practice and natural talent, you have got really good at something. Being sorry so often that you have become a professional apologizer is not something you brag about. As essentially good people, we are trying to behave in thoughtful ways that don’t require frequent apologies. But we all screw up. Whether intentional or not, we all do and say things that hurt or offend others. And when we do that, as good people, we need to atone for our transgressions in a meaningful way. Love grows from forgiveness, and true repentance heals both the transgressor and the victim. Where things get sticky, and can result in prolonged grief and bad feelings, is an apology that sounds insincere or is not specific. “Sorry I made you mad” doesn’t quite cut it. I read a lot, and a recent “Ask Amy” column in the newspaper (yes, some people still read the newspaper, but we are a dying breed) addressed making amends:

There are three parts to a good amends: (1) tell them what you did (in other words, take responsibility for the harm); (2) ask them if you left anything out, or if there is anything they want to say to you (often, there is); and (3) ask them how you can set things right and, if it is reasonable, do it.”

I thought it was a particularly good lesson for me. Can’t wait until the next time I screw up so I can put it to use.

Read More – The One Path to Serenity

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