• Emily Brown

How You’re Apologising Wrong

Rule 1: Ditch the 'Because'...

It's a start. Source: SoundFly.

I recently went out for breakfast with a friend who was grappling with not knowing how to navigate a falling out with a friend that he felt he wasn’t responsible for. A text was orchestrated between the two of us (as you do in this millennia). My thoughts were: keep it short and sweet, and open up the communication lines in a non-confrontational manner in order to tread carefully on the fractured connection. This didn’t exactly sit with him at first. He was more focused on justifying his part of the fracture. More predominantly, he was desperately wanting to feel heard in how the situation made him feel. This is the kind of thing that makes me want to squirt people with a water gun like an untrained kitten.


Reach out to them first.

Then you can have the floor.

Wait your turn.

And it dawned on me. We really don’t know how to deal with confrontation the vast majority of the time. Let alone enact a genuine apology in the right way for the person it’s given to. We forget that an apology is tangibly given to someone and is not given in order to meet our own needs.

It’s always perplexed me, the way we enact confrontation. I’ve always wondered whether my way of addressing such a confrontation is maybe a little bit manipulative. The reason I’ve wondered this is that I tend to initiate a conversation on the basis of being gentle and approachable at first, and catering to the conversation style of the other person, which can sound somewhat snakey and pointed. But it’s not.