So…I messed up last month. I double-booked and let someone down. Someone I love dearly and deeply.
I’ve needed to apologize for many things over the years and I’m certain I’ll continue to need to do so. For things I’ve done wrong. For misunderstandings, misdeeds and missteps. (Though I no longer apologize for my beliefs, for not meeting unrealistic expectations thrust upon me, and for, like, EVERYTHING. Dyana is a fabulous model of this).
My apology process looks a little like this::
- Be sincere.
- State regret.
- Take responsibility for the impact of my actions.
- Offer to make it right…then make it right.
- Pledge to do better (and learn from it).
- Move on.
It has served me well. In theory.
The moment I realized I’d double-booked, I left a message on my beloved friend's home phone. I think it sounded something like this, slightly pitchy and sincerely distraught::
OMGOMGOMGOMG I am so truly sorry. Greg and I weren’t on the same page and didn’t cross-check calendars and he made plans MONTHS ago and now I have to bail on our evening this Friday. CAN YOU FORGIVE ME?!
I didn’t hear back immediately. So I sent a text the next day essentially reiterating the same thing, though slightly less panicked.
I feel awful. You guys go ahead without me. I’ll find a way to make something work…maybe I can meet you later after the kids go to bed. I’ll miss dinner but will be there for the dancing. And I feel sick about letting you down. Truly.
Again, I didn’t hear back. My indignation begins to rise. (Has SHE never made a mistake and needed to lean into grace?)
Next text from me::
Enter paranoia, incredulity, righteousness and a soupçon of anger. I’ve worked my process (sincerely). I’ve regretted, fretted and sweated and still nothing. I need her to release me from this vortex.
Big bold, worldview statements start to show up in my thought process. (I’m 40. I’m OVER this and I have no place for people who do not have capacity for empathy and forgiveness in my life.)
Epic next text from me::
Am I being shunned…(blah blah blah)…I don’t respond well to the silent treatment…(blah blah blah)…if we can’t even have a conversation then I think we have a different problem.
The ego loves to try to take back control…even if “control” is a Malatov cocktail of ridiculousness.
So, you’ve guessed what happened right?
She didn’t get the texts. We spoke over the phone and all was well. Friendship intact. Of course.
Life is short. Pick up the damned phone. Clear the air.