Offending Behavior: Ways to Apologize and Make Things Right

25/10/17 0

Excerpt from Power Source: Taking Charge of Your Life, a book for at-risk adolescents, by Dr. Bethany Casarjian

Apologizing for offending behavior can take many forms. It can be a conversation with the person you hurt — face to face or by phone. It can also be done through a letter. Although many kids find writing difficult or unpleasant to do, it let’s you really plan what you want to say. Writing a letter of apology can be a very powerful way to express your feelings about what you have done. Even if you throw the letter away, or never send it, putting your feelings and thoughts into words on paper can help you move down the path of healing.

Apologizing is something you’ve got to do to really stand up and take responsibility for your offense or mistake. But it isn’t always the final step. If it is possible, you need to repair the damage you did by paying back. When you can — make it right. This might happen in a lot of different ways. If you stole money from someone, return it. If you spent the money, then work to get the money to repay the person. If you stole an item that can’t be replaced, find out how much it costs and give the person that amount of money. If you started a rumor about someone and it hurt them or their reputation, you need to fix it by coming straight. Sometimes we won’t see our victim again, but we know that we have wronged someone. If this is the case for you, try repairing the damage by doing something kind for someone else. It won’t undue the damage you did to your victim, but it will help someone else. And that’s a powerful thing.