Mickey Z. -- World News Trust
Nov. 30, 2017
“I think the world honestly would be a much healthier place if instead of trying to find rationalizations for our bad behavior we would just say, ‘I was an asshole. Sure, there were reasons behind it, but that doesn't matter’.” (Colin Quinn)
It’s a beautiful thing to witness so many high-profile males being exposed for their predation. It’s been mighty ugly, however, to witness their willfully pathetic apologies [sic]. Derailing, deflecting, and denying -- these mutants try everything to avoid authentic accountability.
With that in mind, here are:
The 4 elements of a real apology
1. Ask for permission to apologize
This is the forgotten first step -- almost every single time. Regardless of how severe (or not) you perceive your transgression to be, you do not have agency when it comes to forgiveness. The wronged person has every right to reject any apology attempt until they are ready. Imagine an outed male predator’s first public statement being something like: “I did something very wrong and, for starters, I’d like to apologize for it.”
2. Take full responsibility: Show remorse
“I’m sorry you feel that way” is not remorseful. “If anyone was offended, I apologize”? Again, zero contrition. Hold yourself accountable. Let them know that you realize you hurt them. Show regret. Express guilt. Clearly articulate why you are apologizing. Imagine an outed male predator’s second public statement being something like: “I did [insert unambiguous details here]. I recognize that I’ve hurt someone. I feel guilt, shame, and remorse but I have no one to blame except myself.”
3. No excuses: Promise to make amends and that you won’t do it again
It’s time to put your remorse into an actionable context. That means NO excuses. Communicate with the wronged person to learn how you can best make amends for your affront. Make up for a mistake and do the work to make certain it does not re-occur. Display your remorse in word and deed. Imagine an outed male predator’s third public statement being something like: “I behaved terribly. I make no excuses for this choice. Instead, I will seek input on how to make amends. I will also seek help so I can live up to my promise that it will never happen again.”
4. Formally ask for forgiveness
Like step #1, this one is often neglected. But forgiveness is a dialogue. After the first three steps have been satisfactorily completed, do not assume you’ve automatically been forgiven. Ask for forgiveness and be ready to enter into an open discussion of what that means. Imagine an outed male predator’s fourth public statement being something like: “I take full responsibility for my behavior. I apologize to those I hurt and those I let down. I promise to make amends and do the work to never do it again, and I ask all of them for forgiveness -- if they are willing to grant it.”
Predator & Prey
Each of us is human and will thus mess up time and time again. The above elements apply in all such cases and may serve you, and me, well.
A patriarchal and predatory mindset, however, is geared towards exploiting any situation as an opportunity to dismiss past prey and deceive future prey. As more of these mens’ crimes are exposed, more “apologies” will ensue. Listen carefully to their words and pay very close attention to their actions.
Mickey Z. is the founder of Helping Homeless Women - NYC, offering direct relief to women on the streets of New York City. To help him grow this project, CLICK HERE and make a donation right now. And please spread the word!
The 4 elements of a real apology by Mickey Z. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://worldnewstrust.com/the-4-elements-of-a-real-apology-mickey-z.