Monday, 30 July 2007

The art of apology

Robert Pasick who wrote the little book "What Every Man Needs to Know" advocates that we should learn the art of apology.

We learn that apology is an admission of error, yet we learn that making errors is terrible. Learn to apologize fully without adding a 'but'. Don't expect an apology in return.

On our drive home from school yesterday, YK was ranting about his best friend. Nic is weak in biology and had asked YK for help. So YK postponed his math tuition (and got an earful from me for the last minute cancellation) to revise biology with Nic after school.

That afternoon, Nic changed his mind and decided to join his friends in a game of DOTA. Before he left, he asked YK if it’s ok. YK was very disappointed that he couldn't keep to his commitment but said “Ok”.

Feeling guilty the next day, Nic apologized again but YK was still upset and refused to speak to Nic. After a while, Nic also got mad at YK. Now they're mad at each other.

So, I was giving my two cents' worth and imparting the art of apology (and forgiveness). I hope I got the message across. In a way, I'm glad the kids always come to me for advice.... they have a lot more to learn in life.

10 comments:

JYankee said...

That's very good advice..something we all need to do. We have a bunch of worker's here..they never apologize...and when they do..it's always with a "but..." more annoying than if the real apology was gotten and done and over with!

Blur Ting said...

Sometimes we get too defensive, that's when the 'buts' surface.

SK and I were talking about being defensive yesterday. You know JY, when the kids grow and learn, we parents grow and learn too.

Diesel said...

Isn't it amazing how hard it is to apologize, but how easy it is to follow one up with "but..."?

Excellent post.

David said...

We've all got a lot to learn in life. So I'll start by asking what DOTA is? I have a feeling I'm going to feel really dumb when I hear the answer. :)

Blur Ting said...

Thanks Diesel. I'm always saying "I'm sorry, but you started it.." See, guilty as hell!

Heheh, David. I have not played or seen it but I hear DOTA's a very addictive online game.

Mike M said...

Some people seem very defiant in apology. Saying "sorry" can solve a lot of problems and allow things to move forward.

Dan said...

I'm sorry that I don't have time to read this entire post, but I'm just so busy that ...

Drat! Caught myself.

Just teasing. Nice post!

Blur Ting said...

You're right Mike. If everyone can just apologize and forgive, the world will be a much better place.

Hi Dan. I see you're a fast learner! You've got a really nice blog too.

HollyGL said...

Apologies work wonders as a means of fortifying the bond between two people. Even if the behavior the person is apologizing for was crummy. Its just a necessary part of being human.

Blur Ting said...

That's true Holly but I was telling the kids about not getting into the habit of losing temper and pissing everyone off, followed by apologising. In the long run, nobody will take your apologies seriously. It's like cry wolf.