Relationship Marketing = John Egan = 4th Ed. = 2011
Fix your relationship
Fix your relationship
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Manager research relationship in business research project.
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Men and women are equal goes good in education in most part of the country, in other cases it is not at all applicable. many men doesn't know the reason for which their wives are worried or sad too. They think that they are not doing any mistakes. Bu
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Table of Contents How to Reset a Relationship with This Secret Technique......................2 Stop Stressing Over Whose Fault It Is................................................................2 Take Responsibility For Your Actions................................................................3 Acknowledge The Other Person’s Feelings.........................................................3 Avoid Justifications And Excuses.......................................................................4 Don’t Nitpick Who’s Right And Who’s Wrong...................................................5 Show Some Vulnerability...................................................................................5 Aim to Be Received Instead of Accepted.............................................................6 Commit To Change............................................................................................6 Never Apologize Too Soon or Quick...................................................................7 Be Clear What You’re Apologizing For..............................................................8 Apologize for What is the Person’s Real Concern...............................................9 Don’t Expect Complete Forgiveness...................................................................9
Points To Remember When Giving An Apology.................................12 Recommended Resources..................................................................13 References.........................................................................................14
The “secret” technique to reset any relationship is one that has saved millions of broken relationships. You will have heard of the technique, but you will not know how to use the technique. The technique I’m referring to that can reset a relationship you broke is called an apology. Can an apology turn back time, you ask? Can it do anything at all to repair what’s broken? As a matter of fact, yes it can, but NOT if it’s done in the way that most of us do and have been doing apologies all of our lives. Every wonder why, apologies can seem so insincere? Growing up we’re taught to say, “I’m sorry,” when we’ve done something wrong. We’re led to believe that if we make a mistake but apologize for it later, everything will be okay. However, apologizing doesn’t work when it’s done for the wrong reasons, and though our reasons aren’t always wrong, most of us come across as if they are.
“True remorse is never just a regret over consequence; it is a regret over motive.” – MIGNON MCLAUGHLIN Think about it. Since a young age, apologies have been something that we say to get ourselves back into good graces. We acknowledge fault and hope for absolution; but this is not the route to take if we hope to actually repair the damage that has been done. Furthermore, we’ve learned to connect apologies with forgiveness. If we put ourselves our there and apologize, we figure we deserve forgiveness. But truthfully, we’ve got no reason to expect this, and once we can understand how little apologies and forgiveness have to do with each other, the sooner we experience apologies that work. According to Janet Holmes, a professor at Victoria University, “Apologies, like compliments are primarily aimed at maintaining, enhancing, anointing or supporting the addressee’s ‘face’ (Goffman 1967).” While compliments focus on the addressee’s BaitExBack.com
positive face wants (Holmes 1987, 1988a), apologies generally aim at face-redress associated with face-threatening acts, and can be regarded as negative politeness strategies (Brown and Levinson 1978: 192). By apologizing you might even improve the other person’s health! A study in Psychological Science called Granting Forgiveness or Harboring Grudges , discovered that people who think about forgiving an offender had better functioning cardiovascular and nervous systems. The researchers also found that clinching a grudge boosted heart rates and blood pressure. You can’t drop the treadmill workout yet, but help the health of those around you and your relationship health by apologizing.
How to Reset a Relationship with This Secret Technique What’s the recipe for an effective apology? There is a specific approach to apologizing that if adopted will help you, “rewind time” and essentially “clean the slate” between you and your significant other.
Stop Stressing Over Whose Fault It Is Fault is of no importance during an apology. We all perform hundreds of tiny actions each day that drive the responses and counteractions of our significant other. Everyday life is full of too many circumstances to narrow anything down to a fixed cause. Perhaps you were cheated on. Can you see any way in which your small transgressions might have contributed, in even the subtlest way to your spouse’s motivation to do so? Have you been a little less attentive? Have you been distracted? Preoccupied? Aggravated? Chances are you two have been playing off of each other’s actions for some time, and you’ve both allowed your paths to diverge – meaning it’s not so easy to isolate fault. The good news is that it’s also not necessary. Fault is not the object of an apology, and the sooner you can grasp this, the sooner you’ll find your apologies actually remedying their respective situations. If for example, you forgot to mail the car payment out, a late fee got tacked onto your next payment, and it started an argument, it’s up to you to apologize for your
oversight. Avoid saying things like these:
“You should’ve reminded me.” “I thought you said it wasn’t due until next week.” “You must’ve put the bill in a different place this month because I never saw it.” These examples focus on blame and brush off all responsibility for the transgression. Even if these things are true, that is not the point. The point is within this whole situation, there were actions you were responsible for that resulted in a late payment.
Take Responsibility For Your Actions The point of an apology is to accept responsibility for your own transgressions. If you got home late, averted a conversation, started a conversation or dismissed an anniversary, you are responsible and accountable for that action. An apology is your effort to communicate the regret you have for whatever it was that you did or didn’t do. When you apologize, you are acknowledging the role you played in the problem and taking responsibility for the consequences that evolved from it.
“Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world would be clean.” – JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE You’re responsible for a lot of what happens to you. Being responsible in everyday situations prepares you for the responsibilities in healing a broken relationship. Find yourself blaming the young girl for burning your coffee? YOU choose to order the coffee from that cafe. Hate how your computer keeps crashing? YOU decided to work on that computer. Your ex is being a jerk? YOU chose to be with your ex. Even if you’re not at fault for bad things in your life, you’re responsible. Acknowledging this defeats victimization and empowers you to create a life you want.
Acknowledge The Other Person’s Feelings The first thing you need to do is acknowledge the other person’s feelings. In fact, make the effort to explore the other person’s feelings. Try to figure out why he or BaitExBack.com
she feels the way he or she does. Beverly Engel, a psychotherapist in Los Osos, California and author of The Power of Apology: Healing Steps to Transform All Your Relationships , says “Apology helps the other person trust you again and not see you as a threat. “Apology disarms us,” Engel says. “It lets the other person know that we aren’t going to harm them again.” Stay away from apologies like this one:
“I apologize for whatever I did to make you angry.” This is a great way of saying that your partner is angry, but not very sorry about what caused that anger. People are instinctively egocentric and thoroughly enjoy and need others to understand their perspectives. When someone else shows an interest, it’s not only refreshing, it’s a critical first step in mending a point of contention. Most often in an argument or dispute, one person “projects” his or her feeling onto the other. This results in more contention and a sense of resentment. This is what we do most of the time. We take our own feelings and assume the other as having the same or similar experience. When you accept your partner has an entirely different experience, you cleanse yourself of preconceptions surrounding the dispute and then seek to understand his or her experience of the situation, which opens the door to an honest and healing conversation.
Avoid Justifications And Excuses What not to say:
“I’m sorry I’m home late, but I had a lot of work to do at the office.” In this example, you’ve just justified your transgression. You’re concerned with being in the wrong, so you “blame” your lateness on an event that is seemingly out of your control. In other words, you haven’t actually “taken responsibility” for the fact you were home late. What’s more, you haven’t considered how your partner sees this situation. A better approach to addressing your significant other: BaitExBack.com
“I’m sorry I’m home late. I know it’s disrespectful and unfair to you when I don’t make it home on time. I’m trying to prevent this from happening again.” In this case, you’ve acknowledged the specific feelings your partner is experiencing, and you’re vowing to take action so this doesn’t happen again. The fact that you’re making a conscious effort to understand your partner’s perspective will make a big impact on him or her and help reconcile the broken relationship.
Don’t Nitpick Who’s Right And Who’s Wrong One of the big pitfalls of an apology is when too much emphasis is placed on right and wrong. Ask yourself this: does it matter? Is it important to the relationship to determine who was right and who was wrong? In most cases, the answer is no. Ultimately, you each have the reasons that made you behave in a specific way. These reasons make sense to each of you. While it’s interesting and healthy to explore the other’s reasoning and to try to understand his or her point of view, the conclusion of who is right and who is wrong has no bearing on the effectiveness of an apology. It’s not whether the actions or decisions are right or wrong. They just are. We all make mistakes. If we are honest about our responsibility for them and are sincere about our feelings in regard to them, we’ve taken a big step en route to the reparation of these mistakes.
Show Some Vulnerability Somewhere along the way apologies have come to be associated with weakness. If we admit our guilt in a situation, we have come to believe that that event can be used against us. We were wrong, and we will have to pay for our mistakes. “To apologize is to set aside our pride long enough to admit our imperfections, and for some, this feels far too vulnerable,” says Engel. The truth is that it takes a big person to step up and admit fault for something. It’s embarrassing to be wrong and to be caught in the wrong. To admit this is to admit vulnerability; and vulnerability is different than weakness. A weak person can’t stand to be vulnerable because he or she is not strong enough to do so while maintaining a sense of self-respect. A strong person has no trouble being vulnerable when the situation calls BaitExBack.com
for it. Being in a state of vulnerability means that you are exposing yourself to the possibility of getting hurt. Strong people don’t hide from this. It’s a chance to display even more strength because the stakes are higher. Those who are weak or who are not ready to accept responsibility for the part they played in a situation tend to apologize weakly. Consider the two apologies below.
“I’m sorry I hurt you.” “I’m sorry that I let you down by not calling. I see now how much that hurt you.” The first example is angled in such a way that it places responsibility with the offended party because he or she was “hurt.” The speaker is sorry that he or she “hurt” the other party. The speaker is not in any way saying that he or she is sorry for doing the thing that caused the “hurt.” The feeling of being hurt has nothing to do with the apologizer. In turn, the apologizer has taken no responsibility for being involved in creating that sentiment. Therefore, it is only natural that the offended doesn’t feel any better. He or she wasn’t appropriately apologized to.
Aim to Be Received Instead of Accepted When apologizing, you want an apology RECEIVED rather than ACCEPTED. The goal you need to carry with you when you approach your partner is for him or her to actually hear, respond, and react to your apology. Think like a football quarterback for a second. The ball is your apology. When you’re passing the ball, you’re looking for a receiver, someone to catch the ball that you throw specifically to him or her. You are not throwing the ball at an unexpected target hoping he or she will “accept” the ball. You want your target to receive the ball. What they do with it from there is that person’s decision.
Commit To Change An apology is useless if there is not an intention to change behind it. If you’re not truly interested in doing something to prevent the situation from happening again, you are not truly interested in apologizing. BaitExBack.com
Let’s say Joe’s partner, Melissa is very strict with their joint finances. If Joe says, “I’m sorry I didn’t consult you before I loaned Sally money,” and then Joe fails to consult Melissa again next month when another friend needs money, his apology was meaningless. He didn’t make the effort to change. He might want to say things like:
“I knew you wouldn’t approve.” “It wasn’t that much money.” “She’s going to pay me back in a few days.” Melissa isn’t going to be very receptive to any of these answers because her feelings aren’t being considered. Had Joe considered them after the first incident and actually intended to change, he wouldn’t be in this predicament again. In fact, some of Joe’s reasons for going through with lending the money might actually have been very good and might have made sense to Melissa. If he made the effort to see where her concerns lied, they might have been able to come to a peaceful decision. What are some of the things that Joe did wrong?
He didn’t explore Melissa’s feelings.
He didn’t try to understand the reasons Melissa has for being tight with money.
He justified his actions, deflecting the fault off of himself and onto outside
circumstances. By saying that Sally was going to pay the money back in a few days, it wouldn’t be Joe’s fault if she didn’t. He pushed that responsibility off himself when he used it as a justification.
Never Apologize Too Soon or Quick Especially when the reason for your apology is a compelling one, such as an affair. Nothing is less sincere. A quick apology is nothing more than a deflection. It’s the realization that you’re in the wrong and an instinctive reaction to pretend it didn’t happen.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t know what came over me.”
“I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.” “It’s not what you think.” “It didn’t mean anything.” These are panic apologies. They are the instinctual, reactive responses that come to us immediately when we’re committing a wrong against our partner. We feel guilty, and are trying to wipe that guilt off of us as quickly as possible. When you offer an apology too quickly, you are skipping the step of understanding your partner’s feelings, and are apologizing simply to achieve forgiveness. A successful apology is one in which you’re thoroughly aware the “thing” happened, and you’re sorry for all of the negative consequences that precipitated. That means you’ve given these thought and considered how your actions hurt the other person. You can’t dismiss the fact that you were wrong. That is something that you have to own.
Be Clear What You’re Apologizing For It’s important when apologizing to make sure the other person knows why you’re apologizing. “I want to apologize because I really care about this relationship. Our relationship is important to me, and I’m sorry that I did something to jeopardize it.” When you have a good reason for apologizing, the other person is going to be certain to listen. It’s important that you iterate your reason for an apology because if you don’t, it’s possible that your partner will assume you don’t have a reason and that the reason is to appease the offended. Remember you have a stake in the apology. You’re apologizing to admit YOUR responsibility because you have a reason to remedy the situation. Apologies aren’t passive claims said as a form of payment for a deed done wrong. Apologies are assertive statements in which you “own” the actions you did and the words you said. When you approach an apology from this mindset, you’ll see that it’s taken with more than a grain of salt.
Apologize for What is the Person’s Real Concern Continuing along these same lines, it’s also imperative that you don’t apologize for what you find “forgivable.” You might assume that the transgression that has come between the two of you is something unforgiveable, and therefore apologize for something related but a little different than what the offended person experienced as the “actual” offense. In the case of cheating, consider this example.
“I’m sorry for sleeping with Alex.” It’s great that you’re sorry for sleeping with someone else, but ask yourself if this is the real source of your partner’s discontent? You might be more comfortable apologizing for this action because it’s more forgivable than what you fear your partner is really upset about. Your partner might be more hurt that he or she was lied to or deceived; but these are wrongs that seem much less forgivable and so more difficult to apologize for. Despite whether your actions are “forgivable” or not, apologize for what they are. When you sidestep the bigger issue, you risk seeming blind to the actual problem or else you’re seen as trying to distort the issue at hand. If you’re looking to repair a relationship, never mistake the following as an apology.
“I want to apologize.” This is about the same as saying, “I want to lose weight.” You WANT to – great, so prove it and do it! Filter that “want” out of your apology, and say it simply and clearly – “I apologize.”
Don’t Expect Complete Forgiveness To expect and especially demand complete forgiveness is absolutely unrealistic. If you’re of the mentality that you deserve complete forgiveness, you’re approaching apology from the wrong direction or as if you expect it to wipe away your
fault in the matter. “Rewinding time” or getting back to a “clean slate” does not mean acquiring complete forgiveness. It means getting an honest “second chance”. Once you “own” your actions and apologize for them, you then have a chance to prevent yourself from doing those actions again. The way to enter any apology is with no expectations. The other person might forgive you and might not; but your goal isn’t to solicit this forgiveness. It’s to express your sincere regret for the effects of your actions. Whether the person forgives you or not is not up to you. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it is. “I didn’t mean it,” is a common statement made as part of an apology. It doesn’t matter if you meant it – you did it. Your goal in an apology is to show your partner that you recognize your actions had an unappreciated effect on him or her and that you’re sorry for this. You’ll find that when you enter into an apology without expectations, you’ll often be surprised by the other’s reaction. Your partner knows you’re not perfect, but when he or she sees that you care, he or she will be more able to understand how you could’ve been compelled to act in the way you chose. Engel says, “To forgive, most people need to gain some empathy and compassion for the wrongdoer. This is where apology comes in. When someone apologizes, it is a lot easier to view him or her in a compassionate way. When wrongdoers apologize, we find it easier to forgive them.” Wiping the slate clean is not a, “let’s pretend this never happened.” It’s more of an “I realize this hurt you. I don’t want this to happen again.” The goal is to admit your part in the situation, communicate to your partner that you made a mistake, and intend to make things right. It’s then up to your partner to forgive you or not. No one said apologizing was easy. Aaron Lazare, author of On Apologies says of the apology, “To undertake them requires honesty, generosity, humility, commitment, courage and sacrifice. In other words, the rewards of an effective apology can only be earned. They cannot be stolen.” Abolish all of your preconceived notions of what an apology is and what it’s always been to you. If you follow the advice listed here, you’re ten times more likely to catch your partner’s attention, get them to hear what you
have to say, and reset the broken relationship.
Points To Remember When Giving An Apology 1)
Be responsible for your actions
Refrain blaming the other person
Don’t dwell on who is at fault
Acknowledge the other person’s feelings
Don’t make justifications or excuses for your actions
Remember that it’s not about who’s right and who’s wrong
Be like water non-resistant to other person’s opinions and feelings
Allow yourself to be vulnerable and humble
Aim to have your apology received instead of accepted
Takes steps to remedy the situation to prevent recurrence
Take your time to make a sincere apology
Be clear what you’re apologizing for
Apologize for what is the person’s real concern
Don’t expect forgiveness and you’ll probably get it
Recommended Resources 1)
A well-made and funny video with some extra tips on how you can
give a great apology. Watch it.
There’s one more thing you need to learn about that I briefly
mentioned: self-forgiveness. Without this, you’ll criticise yourself and possibly destroy your future relationships with family, friends, and anyone because of guilt and shame. Read about how you can stop beating yourself up and start forgiving yourself by clicking here.
References Brown, P. and S. Levinson. 1978. ‘Universals in language usage: politeness phenomena’ in E. N. Goody (ed.): Questions and Politeness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Engel, Beverly. “The Power of Apology.” Psychology Today. July, 2001 Goffman, E. 1967. Interaction Ritual. New York: Anchor Books Holmes, J. 1987. ‘Sex differences and language use in the ESL classroom’ in Bikram K. Das (ed.): Communication and Learning in the Classroom Community. Anthology Series 19. Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre Holmes, J. 1988a. ‘Paying compliments: a sex-preferential positive politeness strategy.’ Journal of Pragmatics 12/3 Lazare, Aaron. On Apology. Oxford University Press. New York 2004. p. 10 Van Oyen CW, Ludwig TE, Vander Laan, KL. Granting Forgiveness or Harboring Grudges: Implications for Emotions, Physiology, and Health. Psychological Science. 2001; 12:117-23