The correct way to apologize to the people you care about
While driving into work this morning, the Breakfast Club was discussing Kanye’s apology or lack thereof during a recent interview with 107.5 WGCI in Chicago. Here’s what he said:
“I don’t know if I properly apologized for how that slave comment made people feel, so I want to take this moment right now to say that I’m sorry for hurting, I’m sorry for the one two effect of the MAGA hat into the slave comment, and I’m sorry for people that felt let down by that moment...”
Of course there was a lot more to the interview, but I’ll be honest, I haven’t listened. Yet the snippet combined with how people reacted to it, mostly saying that it wasn’t a “real” apology, got me to thinking: half of the people y'all sleeping with don’t know how to give an apology the correct way either and you still give them second and third and fourth chances!!! You know if a man gives you a puppy dog look and says “baby i'm sorry that you felt like I didn't want to be with you” and presented you with some token of affection, many of y'all will happily accept and move on until the next transgression. The hard truth is that many men AND women have not been taught how to correctly apologize to someone. Kanye isn't any different.
In case you’re one of those people, I’ve provided steps and examples for you below.
Step 1: Apologize using an “I” statement
“I am sorry” or “I apologize”.
Step 2: State what you are apologizing for and take responsibility
“I know that I hurt you when I yelled at you yesterday” or “I realize that it was unfair for me not to show up when I said that I was going to.”
Step 3: Make amends and state what you will do better in the future
“If there’s anything I can do to make this situation better please let me know” or "Next time I will be sure to talk to you about the situation instead of just shutting down”.
Need another example?
Situation: You learn that your partner lied about going out to the strip club last night, even though they said they were staying in the house.
Incorrect: Look I’m sorry. I just needed to get out with my friends and I knew you would trip. Next time I’ll tell you the truth.
Correct. I’m sorry for lying about going out. It really wasn’t necessary because I just wanted to hang out with my friends. I know that by not being honest you may have trouble trusting me in the future, but I will talk to you about it next time, instead of trying to hide it.
FYI, just because they get the apology part correct, it does not mean that you have to continue dating them. You can accept an apology AND decide to move on to the next!
Listen, while Kanye’s apology was not perfect, I think his intentions were good. He showed remorse over his actions and he acknowledged the hurt that his actions caused. Those are the first steps. To make it better, people probably would have preferred to hear him say “I’m sorry that I let people down by my comments” instead of “I’m sorry for the people who felt let down by that moment”. But most black people aren’t ready to forgive him yet anyway so it really doesn't matter how he says it. People will find fault in EVERYTHING when they're mad. Am I officially back on the Kanye bandwagon? Naw. Will I grant him grace in this situation? Yup. We all mess up.
So let’s not focus on him. Focus on YOU. Do you know how to effectively apologize? Are there some people who could benefit from reading this? If so, SHARE IT. And if you still need more practice, call or text (even though face to face is best) someone that you’ve wronged and try steps 1-3. Practice makes perfect and clears your conscious at the same time.