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How to make a successful amend even if you didn't mean it. Clarity #8

Alan Andersen

Asking forgiveness and keeping short accounts is the challenge of week #8 of Clarity. I think we would all agree that when emotions are high, we say and do things we soon regret. Even if you did not intend your words to be painful, you soon find out the degree of pain it caused. It is for this reason you must quickly seek and ask for forgiveness.

But what if I didn't mean it that way?

Doesn't matter, take responsibility for how your words effect others. You must ask yourself: Do I use words to beat people down or build people up? It is a discipline to use your words to fill the heart and life of another instead of protecting your heart and ego.

It is helpful to think of your mean, angry, hurtful words like trash. If the trash is neglected it starts to stick up the whole office/house. We must be willing to address the pain quickly and take care of it today!

The 4 A's

If you are a subscriber to our monthly newsletter, we addressed resolving conflict and the necessity of dealing with seemingly minuscule problems so they do not fester into huge issues. A dear friend thought me this helpful formula of the 4 A's

Acknowledge: Recognize that the other person has been offended, grieved by your words or that you did something wrong.

Apologize:  Say I am sorry that my actions caused you pain or I am sorry that when I did XYZ you felt ABC. Look them in the eye and ask them to forgive you and wait fot the response.

Amends:  Ask what you can do to make it right..and then do it!

Action:  Do the next right thing whether that is doing what the person asked for during the Amends process or just not doing the behavior again. Actions speak louder than words – but use your words!

Why do the work?

  • It is simply the right thing to do and you will never be free until you do! When we fight forgiveness, it only leads to resentment. And the truth is resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
  • The weight you are feeling on your shoulders or in your chest will be immediately released when you do right by another. Apologize and feel the freedom!
  • People deeply respect those with the humility and integrity to apologize for the pain they have caused another.

What are you avoiding because you need to make amends?  Do you avoid work functions or social situations because you don't want to run in to so-and-so?  If so, you probably owe that person an amends.

Tell your success story below.  We want to be encouraged!

Your Coach For Clarity!

This article previously appeared at True Life Coaching

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