Have you ever said something stupid? I have. Maybe you spoke out of turn? Let something slip that you shouldn’t have? I did. I also know some pretty smart folks that have done the same. What did you do? Humbly apologized, I hope. I also offered to do what I could to make it better, sans excuses.
It doesn’t always work, right? We all make mistakes but sometimes you’re still at the mercy of the maturity on the other side of the table. Granted, some open-mouth-insert-foot moments are worse than others. Forgiveness can take time.
Here are 3.5 tips for how to act when you’re the one that got “dissed”…
1. LIFE IS PUBLIC – Think it over for a few days before you go “unfriending” on Facebook, un-following on twitter and deleting from your Meetup group. Why?
A. It’s hard to undo and usually regrettable – after all, ignorance is not malice. Most mistakes are harmless. Take your time to forgive a sincere apology.
B. If the act was truly malicious, than follow the advice of Sun-Tzu: “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”
2. LIFE IS LONG – or so we hope. The person you’re turning your back on may have been the person that could have helped you the most.
I know that when I’ve made a mistake, I work doubly hard to make up for it.
Always ask yourself, “Is this the graceful, dignified response?”
2.5 THE BIG BACKFIRE – Retribution can be like a long-forgotten boomerang. One day, down the road, it can smack you in the head. Hopefully it’s not when you need a job.
You better look in the mirror and ask, “Is what I’m doing worse than the thing that pissed me off in the first place?” and, “Am I fanning the flame or putting it out?”
3. PRINCIPLES DON’T CHOOSE SIDES – Acting out of character doesn’t get a hall-pass just because you feel you’re on the “right” side of an issue.
Finding a way through a problem promotes harmony. Maintaining a divide produces discord. Where do you think the wise place is to expend and invest your energy?