Conflict Management Coaching Blog by Cinnie Noble
This quote by Kimberly Johnson is a good one to consider when it comes to asking forgiveness, giving an apology, and otherwise trying to make amends. Previous blogs have discussed these topics and invited readers to examine apologies given and received from various vantage points. What I like about this quote is that, in many of my experiences, when I or the other person in our disputes has provided a reason for was said or did it lands poorly.
When reflecting on Johnson’s quote, there is definitely something about justifying ourselves – by making excuses for something said or done – that detracts from apologizing. For me, it’s like giving with one hand and taking away with the other – a phrase my mother used to say about the same sort of thing. To a great extent, it seems to me that having to make an excuse when apologizing is not really being sorry for what was said or done. It also seems that as long as the person delivering the message thinks they are right (even while they may be sorry they offended someone) the excuse given is more about them and their needs than tuning into the impact they have had on the other.
Thinking about this phrase – “never ruin an apology with an excuse” – if this rings true to you in some way – I invite you to consider a situation in which you are wanting to apologize to someone for something you said or did and for which you are sorry.
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