Even Adults Should Say

Saying Sorry

Why do some adults think that they can say something mean to a spouse, friend, neighbor, parent or a child and not say they're sorry? Or, do something that is really rude or disrespectful to another person and yet still don't think they have to apologize?

I have seen this firsthand this week and I have been very disheartened by it. I just don't get how a person can be really mean to another person and still not think that they have to apologize. Do they think they are too good? Perhaps they think apologizing is just something that kids have to do? But for whatever reason, I think it is a real problem that some people really think that they can do and say whatever they please without having any consequences or having to apologize to the person who was affected. I really hope we are not teaching this to our children.

We (at lease most people) do try to teach our children that if they do something to hurt another person that they should be held accountable, do the right thing, and nicely and with real meaning, give the other person an apology. We should also expect that if we do something wrong to our children that we should apologize to them as well.

According to Kate Roberts, Ph.D. from Savvy Parenting (12/16/13), the "two simple words, "I'm sorry", from a parent to a child, have a monumental impact on a child and yet the parent apology is rare. Many parents don't realize the importance of apologizing to their child. They also don't believe they need to apologize. It's not part of our culture for adults to admit wrong doing to children, even when it's obvious they are at fault. In reality, when a parent apologizes to a child, it further cements the parent-child relationship and provides the child with a sense of safety and well-being."

Let's all teach our children by explanation and by example, to apologize with sincerity whenever you have:

• Done something or said something that has hurt someone else
• Made a mistake that has adversely affected someone else
• Been disrespectful or rude to someone in some way

I remember a great lesson I had when I was working in corporate America. I was working on a huge international training program and I was under a tight deadline, and I was late, twice, to our team meeting. After the second time my boss started to yell at me because I was showing a lack of respect to him and the team. When he was done, I said "You are right. I have been showing a lack of respect and I have let the team down. I am so sorry and it won't happen again." After I said that, my boss literally sat down, stopped screaming, and he said "wow, I've never had someone apologize like that. I know you have been overworked and I'm sorry for getting so mad at you." This situation was diffused in a matter of minutes, but it would have been completely different if I hadn't apologized.

As my 11-year old would say, "you just have to man up". Say you're sorry and do the right thing!

If you have an etiquette question please email me at aimee@finesseworldwide.com. For informaiton on upcoming etiquette classes visit my website at FinesseWorldwide.com