Tuesday, April 21, 2009

4 magic words

This week, I've been reminded of something.

There are four sincere words that can alter the course of just about any reasonable person who is on the anger/war rampage.They might not be what you think!

"Thank you." and "I'm sorry."

I'm quick to apologize. That's not to say I hand out insincere apologies all over the place, but I do know the steps to making a heartfelt apology work.
1) Admit what you did and that it was wrong.
2) Apologize for it sincerely.
3) Ask what you can do to improve the situation.

Step 3 is tricky. There may not be anything you can actively do. It may be something that has to happen on the other side. The person has to decide wether to forgive you and stop hurting or being angry, etc. But that's their decision and out of your control. Most acts of true forgiveness take time.

I still work hard on the "Thank you". Most people get angry when they feel underapperciated or that their efforts have not been acknowledged. (I know this is usually the reason I get peeved.) Even the most giving person appreciates having their efforts acknowledged.

In the end, if someone is on the war path and just wants to be angry, there's not much you can do to soothe them. So that leaves you with the choice. You can take it as a personal afront, or decide to let it roll off your shoulders.

You can't always choose your situations in life, but you can choose your reactions. This is something I keep in mind when faced with an emotional situation that seems overwhelming. I can choose to let it drown me, or I can take a tip from Dory and "Just keep Swimming".

Speaking of swimming... I better get over to my Wellness blog to update that one!

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