Trans4mind Home Page
~ Making the Human Heart Visible ~

Looking for a better life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of holistic personal development, combined with personal support from expert life coaches.

Explore Article Library


I'm Sorry! Blame-Game or Accountability?

A powerful tool for health as we approach the new year can be to focus on giving and/or receiving only real apologies when we want to heal a rift with a family member, friend, or co-worker. We hear apologies all the time, but I don't think many of them are sincere. An apology has to be real to heal.

Trang Lei spent the day helping Martha buy furniture and art for her remodeled living room, but Martha never even offered to buy Trang Lei's lunch and so she felt unappreciated. Later when she told Martha she felt hurt, Martha said, ' I'm sorry. I was just so excited about what I was buying that I didn't even think about it.' Trang Lei did not feel better. In fact, she felt worse.

  • What was wrong with Martha's apology?

    Martha's apology came with a built-in excuse, implying that however she behaved was unintentional - beyond her conscious control. Moreover, Martha has an expectation that Trang Lei will accept the excuse. Thus, Martha perpetuates the original problem by continuing to be more focused on herself than on Trang Lei. I call this kind of apology 'Sorry-Excuse.'

    Even Martha wasn't consciously manipulating, her goal was not to take responsibility but to find a way out of it. In most cases, if you don't accept other people's excuses when they apologize, they will quickly get irrupted at you, blaming you for not being understanding.

    When we receive a counterfeit apology we often sense it and so rather than the hurt being healed, it is deepened - as in the old saying, 'adding insult to injury.' I think almost all of us give such apologies. And we model it for our children.

    Guidelines for making real apologies:

    One: Identify common formats for apology that are" counterfeit."

    If you clearly various types of bogus apologies, it will help you recognize when you give or receive an one. Here are some examples of common phrasing.


    • - Sorry - Excuse -


      Example: ' I'm sorry I didn't call - I've been really busy.'


      Translation: Please be understanding about the fact that other things were more important than you.'


    • - Sorry - Denial of Intent -


      Example: ' I'm sorry you took it that way. It wasn't what I meant.'


      Translation: I think it's too bad that you had difficulty understanding me correctly.


      Example: ' I'm sorry if I offended you.'


      Translation: I can't think of anything I did wrong, but if you think so, I'd be happy to apologize so I can get back in your good graces.


    • - Sorry - Blame -


      Example: ' I'm sorry I didn't call sooner. Have you been feeling Insecure about our relationship lately?'


      Translation: If you are upset about my not calling, the real cause is your own insecurity, not anything I did.


    Two: Only say ' I'm sorry,' when you mean it and can specify exactly what you are apologizing for

    When we give what I believe is a 'healthy' or authentic apology, we can state clearly what we did that was disrespectful or inconsiderate without:


    • immediately explaining why we did it,

    • telling the person that however it looked or sounded, it wasn't our real intention, or,

    • bringing up some other issue that suggests that the other person contributed to or caused the problem.


    For example, instead of focusing on why she didn't buy Trang-Lei's lunch - her excuse, Martha could have taken full responsibility, saying,

    I'm so sorry I hurt you. There is no excuse for me to forget to buy your lunch. Even that would have been a small thank you for how much you helped me. And you spent your only day off doing it.'

    Here, Martha uses her apology to show her real appreciation as well as her sadness that she didn't do so earlier.

    Three: Decline to accept an apology that is not given sincerely.

    When you accept an apology, and then walk away knowing it wasn't real, you enter a world of make-believe where you pretend an issue is resolved while harboring resentments. Gently, firmly, without anger, you can decline a hollow apology. For example:


    • If you believe that I simply misunderstood you, then I would rather not have an apology from you.

    • Only if you believe you did something hurtful would I want one.


    When you refuse to accept an insincere apology, you refuse to surrender to being manipulated or pacified and you hold the other person more accountable - without having to argue or try to force an apology. You are likely to feel greater confidence.

    Real Apologies Build Character and Respect

    If we can change how we give and receive apologies, we can become less defensive, gain insight, grow wiser, and strengthen all of our relationships. We can also, then, be a strong model for others, including our children, teaching them that real apologies show strength of character, gain the respect of others, and have great healing power.

    This article is based on the book Taking the War Out of Our Words by Sharon Ellison, available through your local bookstore or favorite online bookseller. Sharon Ellison, M.S. is an award winning speaker and international consultant.


    DCOLE@GEMINICOLE.COM


  • AND EXPLORE...

    Addictions
    Astrology
    Careers & Employment
    Communication
    Creativity
    Dating
    Depression
    Diabetes
    Diets
    Divorce
    Education
    Environment
    Ethics
    Exercise
    Family
    Goal-Setting
    Grief & Loss
    Happiness
    Health
    Kids & Teens
    Leadership
    Love
    Marriage
    Meditation
    Nutrition
    Organizing
    Parenting
    Psychology
    Public Speaking
    Relationships
    Schools
    Self Help
    Self Improvement & Motivation
    Sexual Relations
    Spirituality
    Stress Management
    Travel and Leisure
    Women
    Writing


    From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

    Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

    • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
    • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
    • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
    • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
    • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
    • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
    • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
    • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
    • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
    • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
    • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
    • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
    • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
    • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
    • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
    • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
    This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
    Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
     
    Get a free Hypnosis Download at Facebook
    Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd