Why is it so hard for some people to say I’m sorry?

door painted with the words If I have ever hurt you, I am sorryThe LendInk controversy is still alive and kicking. This time it’s because most of  the authors who went on a shark feeding frenzy haven’t been able to bring themselves to apologize.

The details are on Raynfall’s site and Claire will keep the list updated as she gets more information.

Why apologize

Despite the famous people who couldn’t bring themselves to admit they had done wrong – I’m looking at you Mr. Nixon and you Mr. Clinton – there are two things about admitting you’ve made a mistake that I learned early on.

  1. trying to pretend you didn’t make the mistake will always get you caught and in more trouble than the original mistake
  2. saying sorry is a sure way to get forgiveness

How to do it

  1. Be sorry. For these authors, you screwed up, we all do it.
  2. Say you are sorry. Don’t wash it down with fancy words, you can keep those for your books
  3. Say what you are sorry for. It could be that you are sorry you didn’t do your checking before you acted.

For added forgiveness

  1. Tell us how you’ll try to fix what happened
  2. Tell us what you learned from the mistake
  3. Tell us how you plan to never make the same mistake again

An example

Many years ago I said something mean to a new kid in high school. I don’t even know her name – I’ll call her Mary. I’ve felt bad about it all this time. Here’s the apology.

Dear Mary, I don’t know if you even remember this, but I made a rather nasty comment to you in 1973. I was trying to be a smart ass and I didn’t think about what it might mean to you.  I am really sorry that I was so callous.

I didn’t try to fix it, but I did learn a lesson about how to consider other people’s feelings. From that time on, I’ve always tried to think before I speak and remember that making someone feel bad doesn’t make me feel good.

See it’s not that hard.