Explearners, in this live conversation Greg and I discuss how to apologize to deescalate conflict.
Saying sorry and making an effective apology can be challenging at times, especially when the situation is heated.
We released a video lesson about deescalating conflict by using the Fast Double Sorry method. We explain the technique in this post here.
In light of this topic I was recently pondering a quote, popularized in the 1970s cult movie Love Story.
Love means never having to say you're sorry.
A little bit of a head-scratcher, I know. One way to interpret it is that if you love the person enough you wouldn't do anything that would create the need for an apology, In other words, if you love someone and they love you back, you don't hurt them and they don't hurt you. Hence, no need for apologies, amirite.
Yes…welll, it's not that simple. For those of you who know what love feels like. Not just romantic love. All love. Love for your family, love for your partner, love for your sibling, love for your friends, the list goes on.
The point is, even when the hurt is not intentional, it happens. That's the fact of life. We hurt people who are close to us and whom we love and they hurt us.
But it doesn't end there!
That's where apologies come in.
And it's why we need them.
Sorry is one of those funny words. It's hard to say, but it's a huge relief when we do. And on the other side, receiving an apology makes a huge difference than not.
The beauty of the Fast Double Sorry method is that you get the apology out right away so that the focus of the ensuing conversation is on a resolution.
Think about it. When sorry is out of the way sooner rather than later, neither party has to do-see-do around it to see who will say it first.
Ah, yes. Saying it first.
Let's talk about the role of ego in an effective apology.
Ego is dissolved and evolves.
We let it go so that we can let it evolve.
We let go of the unhealthy ego and make way for the healthy ego.
The healthy ego wants to say sorry. It wants to make amends. It wants to heal the hurt caused by words.
When we say sorry, we're pushing out our unhealthy ego, to make room for the healthy ego to help us own up to our mistake.
When we say sorry, we're becoming a more compassionate person who recognizes their failure.
When we say sorry, we recognize that it's the right thing to do.
Saying sorry does not make you look weak or vulnerable.
It's an act of strength because out of the darkness comes the light.
As Ryan Holliday says “the ego is the enemy.”
But that doesn't mean we have to eradicate the ego altogether.
Instead, we nurture it so that it may feel compassion and kindness. So that it may emanate love.
In Buddhism, ego is an illusion. It is a mental construct that humans have created. It separates ourselves from the world and from each other. That kind of thinking perpetuates the “me vs them” mentality. So, instead of the ego-illusion, Buddhism encourages us to perceive the world as a shared reality.
In a shared reality, our words and our actions do not only affect ourselves but others.
And that is why learning how to effectively apologize can go a long way in nurturing relationships and honoring each other.
We went a bit deep on the philosophy train today. Maybe a little bit of a mind-bender, but hey, that's what we're here for.
Hope you enjoyed this conversation and blog post.
See you in the next one!
Happy Explearning ⚡