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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Apologizing Even Though You Were Right

Just before leaving my last job, I was asked to apologize for speaking up about something I did that was not wrong or incorrect.

A person felt slighted by my manner of speaking to her.  The person who asked me to apologize admitted that the person I was apologizing to was actually the person in the wrong.

Here's the thing.....if I do something wrong, I admit it.  I may struggle a bit with doing so, but it isn't as painful as apologizing when I was RIGHT.  My supervisor asked me to apologize to this lady.  I wrote an email apologizing about how she felt, not about what I did.  I was then asked to write a sincere apology.  I countered that a sincere apology is one that comes from a place of truth and honesty.  If my supervisor wanted an insincere apology where I admit that I am wrong, then I would do what I was told. 

In the end, I wrote a half sincere, and half completely false apology.  It was, frankly, one more straw on the camel's back which encouraged me to pursue other work.

My parents sometimes would make me apologize when I fought with my brothers growing up.  What they always made me apologize FOR was for hurting my brother or hitting him or fighting.  I do feel like my mother always listened to both sides of the argument before making us both apologize for the wrong we had done.  I can't remember one situation where I was asked to apologize for something that I hadn't done wrong.

What about you?  What would you do?  Would you lie just because someone felt hurt?  Make up an apology?  Only apologize for making them feel bad?

Just curious.

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