In the backseat pocket a book title caught my eye: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Knowing What to Say(by Patti Kelley Criswell and Angela Martini). Curious and perhaps concerned that my nine-year old granddaughter was already being asked to mute her own voice, I reached for the book. What I discovered was interesting and enlightening. Some wise person had written multiple choice quizzes and straight up advice to help girls deal with sensitive, but predictable situations with grace.
- Your friend hurts your feelings
- You hurt a friend’s feelings
- You want to persuade your parents
And so on.
How to Apologize caught my eye. Here are the steps:
- Admit what you have done – I’m sorry I broke your CD.
- Take responsibility – I shouldn’t have put it in my backpack, especially without making sure it would be safe.
- Take action to fix the situation – I’ll get you a new one by Friday.
- Then do it!
I was impressed with the wisdom and practicality. It was honest, straightforward and said what needed to be said. Little did I know that a mere week later, I would use it myself.
We all make mistakes! We say and do things that “make a mess”. We fail to say and do things that need to be said or done. Too many times even if we say and mean I’m sorry, we:
- Fail to take full responsibility for our actions
- Explain and justify or point to some other person or situation to share the blame
- Fear that claiming it would diminish us – make us “bad”
- Defend ourselves – never truly convincing ourselves nor the other person of our “innocence”!
In our hearts we know there is some piece of responsibility, but it can be hard to step up into the full responsibility. And yet when we do, we feel bolder, more authentic and ultimately more fulfilled.
I challenge you to try this week and let me know how it goes!
Until next Tuesday. YIPPEE!