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There's the effective way to apologize... and there's how most people do it
Ok, so you screwed up on something. And you have some decent reasons for why you did what you did. And the blame can be apportioned among others along with you. And parts of what you did are actually a good thing. And…
Was it really all that big of a deal? And more importantly, is what you did this significantly negative thing that is on you? And if only people could see it in full. Then they would accept it as well, you could have done things differently but not a big deal.
If people are legitimately upset with something you did or said. And there is a fair point that you screwed up. Then it’s very simple. You say one thing.
I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said/done that.
And that’s it. And you’ll hate doing this. It’s unfair. There’s nuance and caveats and everyone needs to understand it in all its complexity. Well guess what. Others don’t care about all that. They’re upset at you. And trying to justify what you did or to explain why it isn’t that bad - that causes others to get even more upset.
But if you don’t give people any explanation to argue over, you don’t give them issues to continue to complain about, then something very interesting happens. It goes away. The whole issue goes away. Generally immediately.
And if someone does ask you what led to it, or why you did it - don’t take that bait. Just keep it simple that your judgement isn’t perfect, you made a mistake, and you’ll make new mistakes in the future. But you’ll do your best to never repeat any mistake.
It’ll grate on you that you couldn’t get everyone to see it your way. You’ll dislike having to own the mistake in its entirety. But the end result is people have a better impression of you.
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