Apologies/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on March 22, 2017


Marjorie Ingall has an article on apologies at realsimple.com/imsorry. She presents her point of view very briefly in the following manner:

“A good apology means laying yourself bare. It means putting yourself in the other person’s position, giving her what she wants and needs.

In short, it’s not about you.”

We are all familiar with the apologies of our elected officials: “Mistakes were made.” This is not good enough if you wish to engage the aggrieved party. The apology, Ms. Ingall reminds us, is not about us. It is about the other party. There is an expression that goes as follows: “Never judge your friend until you have walked a mile in his moccasins.” If you are unsure about why you need to apologize, check with the other party. They will appreciate the opportunity to educate you. Letting a party know that their point of view is important to you, is a key to successful communication. It shows the other party that you care about their feelings. Conversely, an aggrieved party who never hears an apology, is a party who will be difficult to engage in positive dialogue. As Ms. Ingall teaches, it is not about us. That is not necessarily a bad thing!