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Apologizing

It often happens after an interpersonal dispute that one or both people apologize for something said or done that upset the other person. We may realize our actions were not warranted or that we said something that hurt the other person. We may have shared long-held sentiments that had remained unspoken and then, observe the negative consequences of doing so. We may have acted out of malice and on reflection, admit what we said or did was mean-spirited. The list goes on and any number of dynamics occur when we are in dispute about which we later experience remorse and ask for forgiveness.

Whether we apologize or the other person does or we both do, we all have ideas regarding what constitutes a sincere apology. Sometimes we are not quite ready to extend or receive one. Sometimes we find something said or done to be unforgivable. Sometimes we accept an apology or give one and we do not really mean it.

This week’s ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) blog asks readers to consider what has worked for you as an apology after a conflict.

  • Generally, what do you think are the best ingredients of an effective apology?
  • When someone apologizes to you and you feel it is sincere, what are they saying or doing to make it so?
  • How does it feel when someone apologizes and you are not quite ready?
  • What do you say or do in response at these times?
  • When you otherwise find it difficult to accept an apology, why is that the case?
  • When you have said “apology accepted” (or something else that indicates your acceptance) and you have not meant it, what happens?
  • What have you said or done in response to an apology made to you that is an attempt to just get past the situation – even though you are still upset, hurt, etc. by the experience? What is that like for you?
  • Considering a specific situation in which you did not accept an apology given, what was that like for you? What was it like for the other person?
  • What difference do you think it made in that situation – when you did not accept the apology?
  • What have you learned over time works best for you to be able to accept an apology? To give one?

What other ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may you add here?

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