Sorry is the hardest word to say

During the holiday season, it will happen sooner or later. You forget to return a RSVP for the family Christmas party.   You snap at your husband OR your kid.  You are rude to your mother-in-law. (not that I am speaking from any of my own personal experiences).  Someday (probably during the holidays) you will do something that affects your personal OR your work relationships.  Here is the question? How do you make it right?

Here it is – swallow your pride & offer an apology.  Yep – you read it right.  Swallow that bitter pill of pride & offer an apology. Its not easy & sometimes its tricky. To help you navigate thru this issue with proper etiquette, we have outlined how to make a genuine apology.

Take responsibility:  “own your actions”.  Apologizing is one way to own them.  If you fail to apologize, you are not honoring that relationship at all.

Move as quickly and decisively (as possible):  For simple mistakes, offer a quick & sincere apology.   Sweeping problems under the rug rather than directly addressing them is NOT the answer. Don’t wait too long, that will only magnify the mistake to both parties.

Let the dust settle?  If necessary:  DO NOT rush into an apology before both side have a chance to catch their breath.  Emotions are running high during this most wonderful time of the year – allow a brief cooling-off period before apologizing.

Face the Music:  Apologies should be made face to face – old school right?  Put the technology down – let the person hear your heart and your intentions face to face.  You will be more effective.  Distance an issue?  How about a phone call OR a video chat?  It is the next best thing.

Mean what you say:  “I” statements are more effective  than “you” statements.  A true & genuine apology starts with either “I’m sorry,” or “I apologize that I”.  The statement “I’m sorry you feel that way” does not count.

NO excuses allowed:   Experts caution against making excuses.  It is OK to explain a lapse AFTER an apology.  For example, “I’m sorry for not responding to the holiday party invite, I was out spreading holiday cheer, unfortunately, it doesn’t change the fact that I didn’t respond to the invite”.

Apologizes are sometimes necessary to maintain healthy relationships.  A rapid, heartfelt apology, after careful consideration, can go a long way toward making the holidays more joyful.


Wishing you & yours a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!







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