A Primer on Apologizing

A Primer on Apologizing
Photo by Tim Mossholder / Unsplash

How do we approach apologizing? We have all had to admit our shortcomings and hold space for another, too. Apologizing, on the contrary, does not create a binary of right and wrong, it fosters space for understanding. Perhaps, apologies can strengthen our relationships.

V and R are friends. V forgets to meet R for lunch. V has to apologize, let’s try to work through how V goes about this.

V: I’m sorry I forgot to meet you for lunch, R.
V takes responsibility, V is open to being held accountable, this will help R find space to trust V again.

V: I am not going to give you excuses as to why I could not make it. It was not an emergency.
V does not center themselves. Positioning yourself to induce feelings of guilt in the other person may not be an honest apology.

V: I understand that this lunch plan really meant a lot to you. I disappointed you.
V expresses that they understand how disappointing it must have been. V could also ask if R agrees, and have a conversation to understand what this really meant to R.

V: I am going to cook dinner for us. Would you like that? Next time I will set an alarm to make sure I do not forget.
V communicates their intent to try to be on time in the future and offers to make up for the missed plan.

Does R forgive V? We do not know. However we do acknowledge that V tried, R felt respected and seen.

Hold gentle accountability, attempt to understand, approach a situation from a different perspective, and expressing intent on how you will try to be better.

When we find ourselves thinking about how we could apologize? May we ask,

"How can I transform my apology to hold space for my own learning and our relationship?"

Manah Wellness is an employee engagement and wellbeing brand that provides innovative tools and professional support to businesses of all sizes. Founded by wellbeing experts and seasoned entrepreneurs, the company has an experienced team of psychologists and professionals who support individuals and teams with preventive, proactive, and personalized solutions for emotional and mental health, wellness, and professional growth. Manah empowers employees to track, assess, and understand their wellbeing, and how it changes over time. It also enables leaders to make more informed decisions with aggregated and anonymous data.

Manah has supported employees at more than 50 organizations with high levels of employee engagement, and positive feedback from employees on their improved wellbeing. Whether your goal is to lend wellness support to specific team members or to build a company culture that promotes emotional well-being, Manah Wellness has the virtual tools and expertise to support your journey. Get in touch with our team of qualified mental health professionals to discuss your organizational goals, and be part of a growing workplace wellbeing community with Manah."

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