October 5, 2006

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Pinings: Sorry seems to be the hardest word
by Sherry Hughes sah103@hotmail.com

Iím putting the letters on hold this week to address an issue that is near and dear to all of us: apologies.

What? Itís not a subject close to your heart? You donít enjoy talking about being wrong and learning to humble yourself and admit it? Well, no one does.

But there are several ways this can go. We can never admit wrong-doing. That way, we never have to say the ďsĒ word. Another option is to say the ďsĒ word all the time, every time we do something wrong. Or, we can look at what issue (or issues) we have that drive us to say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing or perhaps ignore things we shouldnít.

The key is that no one likes saying they are sorry. No one. But as we grow up, it becomes clear that the apology is the outward behavior. The change inside is what really matters. Itís just like we tell children, ďI donít want you to say you are sorry anymore. I want you to change your behavior.Ē Adults often think this only applies to children. But most adults do things that annoy, anger, hurt or frustrate other people all the time.

Even harder is figuring out when we are wrong and when we arenít. If there is a conflict with a friend, partner, family member or coworker, itís important to look at it clearly and decide whatís ours and what belongs to someone else. And we can only clean up our side of the street, so to speak. Own whatís yours and let them handle whatís theirs ó or not. This isnít about ďWell, I said Iím sorry. Your turn.Ē Itís about amending your bad behavior in a situation.

After that, itís important to take a look at what happened and what you can do to avoid that situation in the future. Maybe it means the way you spoke was harsh, maybe you used a lot of swear words. Perhaps you were cranky on the phone. Maybe you took three days to reply to a voicemail. It doesnít matter. Personal relationships thrive when everyone behaves with respect toward each other. And the only way to ensure that respect stays in the game is to acknowledge our behavior and if it isnít in line with who you are as a person, say you are sorry. And then try to knock it off.

Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers at sah103@hotmail.com


Comments?†Thoughts? Discuss this article and more at hippoflea.com



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