Watching the news today I couldn’t help but shake my head and my finger, (I won’t say which one) at B.P.’s c.e.o. Tony Hayward. I’m just one of millions of people outraged by his callous greed and reckless decisions made before and after the oil spill. But the thing that really got to me was the way he said he “was sorry”! Sitting in front of the energy committee hearing, he had the gall to express “regret” for the loss of life and the hardship caused to the families and people in the area, then, when questioned, he in effect said he had nothing to do with the whole fiasco, and didn’t know much about many of the fateful decisions made! The net effect was to generate more rage and outrage in the hearing, and all over the networks. The lesson? When you supposedly apologize for something, you need to SAY YOU’RE SORRY by doing the following:
1. Take responsibility for your behavior, using “I” statements, i.e. what you DID to cause harm.
2. After you go into the details of the situation and your role in it, express remorse and regret.
3. Acknowledge your understanding of the harm done to the other, the hurtful impact.
4. Ask for forgiveness, and acknowledge to the victim that they may or may not grant it.
5. Commit to some form of repentance, some corrective behavior to avoid repeated harm.
What Hayward did instead was what I see in couples work all too often:
“I’m SORRY! ( Get over it!)”
(Maybe watching CNN isn’t the best way to start the day)………………
P.S. Check out my latest published articles about relationship issues at: