Art of Apology

Saying Sorry like You Really Mean It

Where in the World Is Reddy2Go?

Once upon a time in a year far far away, I had knocked on your inbox. You let me in and generously gave me your time, energy, and attention.

At first, I visited weekly and then even daily. Not only did you accept my imposition, but many more of you also invited me into your inboxes.

And how did I respond to this generosity?

By disappearing! It's been over 2 months since I disappeared from your life. I'm writing in today to apologize for abusing your trust.

Here goes. "Sorry!"

Now that we have that out of the way, let's get back to our regular programming.

STOP!

That's not how apologies should be tendered or accepted. Here's how I think they should play out.

Accept & Acknowledge

If I don't accept my error, we're never going to move on. My first step here would be to acknowledge and accept that I've made an error.

  • When forced by circumstances, one might grudgingly apologize without actually accepting the error.

  • Then there are possibilities where one might accept the mistake but follow it up with a string of excuses.

I like to keep it simple - it may not have been my fault, but it is still my responsibility (even when the situation is not entirely within control). This doesn't put you at a disadvantage, on the contrary, it empowers you to move beyond guilt.

So no excuses, no reasons, I accept I failed to deliver a newsletter in your inbox as promised.

Apologize

This might seem redundant after the first step but a formal apology goes a long way. Now formal doesn't mean staid or stuck up.

In fact, the art of saying sorry requires a sincere expression of regret towards the harm caused to the other. How can I ensure that the extent of my apology matches the depth of my regret?

Remember, we're not limited by the spoken word alone. Use handwritten letters (you can still scan and send digitally), video, gifts, whatever it takes to get the message across.

In my case, I’m writing this public apology letter to express my regret of failing your trust in me.

Amends

An apology is only the beginning of the journey back to where we started. It's imperative to not apologize for the harm caused but also attempt to undo (if possible) or make amends alternatively.

Actions speak louder than words. So as important as the aforementioned eloquent apology is, correction of the caused damage is that much more.

Don't forget that amends are to be made in a way that is acceptable and beneficial to the wronged party, not for one's own convenience.

I would like to offer you an interactive Playtime session to help invoke the spirit of play in your life. Please reply to this letter to schedule.

Ask, not Expect (Forgiveness)

Now that I've done everything by the playbook, I deserve to be forgiven right?
Err.. about that.

Forgiveness is not something to be wrested by making all the right moves.

If you've made it this far, you should know that carrying the feeling of hurt is hurting the person more than the actual hurt itself. So forgiveness is a gift that would be as beneficial for the wronged to let go of, as it would be for you to receive.

However, all you can do is ask and wait... Someday maybe 🤞🏽
While you're waiting, here's some of my previous reading material on forgiveness.

There's nothing more for me to do here, but hope that you forgive me and stay subscribed to my playful explorations.


Stay subscribed, there's plenty to play with here. Check out more articles on my website or DM on Twitter 🕹 to chat more on how we can play together!