Sorry, Not Sorry

  1. I hurt you — Say how you hurt the other person or people. Acknowledge that they are not crazy, or overreacting or any other gas lighting you can think of. You hurt them, and you don’t get to decide by how much. Only they do. This step is about empathy, and understanding that your experience is not more important than theirs.
  2. I’m sorry — BE sorry. Say it because you are, not because the teacher makes you or all the other VC’s threaten to punch you out. Above all, don’t follow your “I’m sorry” with “but, you…” or “It wasn’t my fault because” and especially not “everyone else was doing it so I thought I could, too.” But also, say this as soon as you realize that you’ve mistreated someone else.
  3. I won’t do it again — Mean this. Make the other person believe you. This is not done with repeated apologies or by telling them ways in which you have already made it up to them. Because you haven’t. This is done by finally asking them how you hurt them exactly, and then don’t do it again. To anyone. Only this behavior will reagin trust, but it won’t be immediate. it will take time and people will watch to see if you do do it again.
  4. How can I make it up to you? — and then do it. Making amends is essential because you have already removed a level (or five) of trust in the relationship. Be thoughtful about this step. Token gestures or empty promises will not repair anything and will hurt you further. Guilt is not the motive, honest reparation is.

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Curious troublemaker. Digital Nomad. Xennial who notices things. Believes in the end user, good research and Mentoring Programs. www.debutantegonewrong.com

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Mhaire Fraser

Mhaire Fraser

Curious troublemaker. Digital Nomad. Xennial who notices things. Believes in the end user, good research and Mentoring Programs. www.debutantegonewrong.com