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Overcoming the Reluctance to Apologize -- Part 1 of 2

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Richard O. Jones
Children are taught to say, “I’m sorry,” whether they are actually sorry or not, when they violate another child or misbehave in some way. They are seldom taught the meaning of saying that they are sorry and the responsibility that comes with being sincerely sorry. This “I’m sorry” apology is often shortened to the single word “sorry” without any sincerity. More often than not the behavior of the child is not changed and they find themselves being forced to say “sorry” again and again.

Many of these children are made to recite this meaningless apology so often that when they apologize as adults their words are meaningless. Many family relationships are severed because one or the other parties involved in the dispute refuses to sincerely apologize. Based on their childhood experiences, many adults erroneously assume that an apology is a sign of weakness or a proclamation of being a bad person.

Some people are smart enough to realize that apologizing quickly without being forced into it is an effective way to win favor with the people. For example: President Elect Senator Barack Obama was quick to sincerely explain or apologize for his public inconsistencies, mistakes, or
false accusations by his adversaries especially as it pertained to his racial and religious views.

As a result, President Elect Obama is the most popular figure in the world. A person that refuses to admit their mistakes or apologize, as President George W. Bush for instance, becomes very unpopular.

Notice the celebrity or public trials.

Some people confess their guilt and express remorse immediately, seek rehab, if necessary,
while others deny everything until the evidence against them is overwhelming. Then they publicly apologize and usually get religion. Even in a court of law, one of the key signs the judge and jury is looking for in a defendant is a genuine sign of remorse. Once this is established the defendant will receive leniency otherwise he or she might get a stiffer penalty.

There is a common denominator in a majority of the real life courtroom small claims cases on television. The plaintiffs and the defendants stand on opposing sides of the courtroom often in bitter litigation each claiming the other is the wrongdoer.

However, after the judge filters through the legal liability, it is often determined that the
underlining driving force of the lawsuit the absence of a sincere apology. Doctors are often sued for malpractice because they, on  the impersonal and impassionate advice of their lawyers, failed to apologize for a medical error. Today many malpractice insurance companies are instructing their medical policyholders to apologize because it have been discovered that when doctors apologize the lawsuits go down. Millions of dollars in court cost, lawsuits, and thousands of hours of court time could be saved if people would forsake their pride and
apologize, especially when they know that they are wrong.

Email: richardojones1@verizon.net

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