We have too often demonstrated the wrong way to apologize by our politicians and leaders who get caught in some indiscretion. Here are a few of the inappropriate methods of apologizing. These all contain the word “but” which essentially invalidates the initial offer of apology and the listener only hears the second part of the sentence. Here are some parental non-apologies.
- “I’m sorry… but I did the best I could.”
- “I’m sorry… but we all make mistakes.”
- “I’m sorry …it was an accident.”
- “I’m sorry… but you’re not perfect either.
How to Effectively Apologize to Your Young Adult
What are the qualities necessary for an effective apology to your young adult?
- First, an apology has to heartfelt and sincere. It emerges from compassion you feel for yourself and your young adult as broken people.
- Second, you need to be willing to be vulnerable and accept responsibility for your mistake or actions. My father was “old school” and never apologized to me. I wish he had because I think it would have drawn us closer.
- Third, you have to do this because it is the right thing to do and not expect a specific response from your young adult. One parent in my workshop sent such a letter to his married young adult daughter and never received an acknowledgment. However, he noticed the relationship had changed for the better the next time they met. You have to be willing to do this unconditionally. You can’t expect forgiveness; however, you will likely soften the heart of your young adult and change the quality of the relationship.
Parents – I Want to Hear From You!
Have you apologized? How? For what reason? What do you think constitutes a sincere apology?