A Complete Apology

Back in 1998 I had a conversation with Dr. Stan Dale about apologies. What stayed in my memory from that conversation is that it helps the other person feel better when we acknowledge the effect our behavior had on them. I’ve been refining this through the years…

A Complete Apology

  1. My behavior: “What I did was…”
  2. “The effect(s) on you (and/or our relationship) was…”
  3. “I apologize for…” (#1 and #2 above)
  4. “What I learned about myself is…”
  5. “My intention going forward is…”
  6. “Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?”

Most apologies don’t include part 2, but be sure you do, because it’s the part that heals the most.

Addendum: In October 2015 I was discussing this with Brianna Ferreira, MFT, and she suggested it should be done with compassion and without pushing for forgiveness…

Copyright © 2015 Russell Wilkie, MFT

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