We can all grow and develop in our “I’m Sorry” ability. I recently read Ross Jones’ “Four Stages of I’m Sorry.”
Stage 1- I’m sorry, BUT…
I’m sorry BUT… is a non-apology. It’s a fake. It gives the appearance of apology but through the “But…” continues the argument, continues prosecuting the other.
Stage 2- I’m sorry, IF…
I’m sorry IF is not really saying I’m sorry. It’s cheating—giving the appearance of an apology without being an apology. “I’m sorry IF you’re offended.”
Stage 3- I’m sorry, PERIOD.
Finally, after the Stage 1 and Stage 2 fake apologies, Stage 3 is actually an apology. I’m sorry, PERIOD. No continuing the argument against the other person. No justification or explanation. Just…period.
Stage 4- I’m sorry, AND…
I’m sorry, AND I am moving towards you. I’m sorry AND I love you. I’m sorry AND let’s move forward.
Let’s determine to eliminate the BUTs and the IFs that stem from stubborn selfishness and supplement more of our apologies with ANDs.