The decent way to publicly apologise | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 11, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 11, 2018

The decent way to publicly apologise

Humans make mistakes, and in the age of social media, humans make mistakes in public. It is a common enough phenomenon so you would think people would learn to apologise publicly in a proper way but that has not really been the case. Therefore, this guide on how to apologise publicly.



Come out clean and take responsibility for your mistakes. Admit that you were ignorant, not thinking clearly, didn't get the gravity of your words or actions or whatever your situation was. State your intentions then and state your stance on the situation now. Acknowledge the pain you've caused and accept and confess your fault graciously without trying to find a way out. Make your apology to the point and free of excuses like Kanye West did on the Jay Leno show when talking about his behaviour during an awards ceremony, “It was just very rude, period.”



This is similar to making excuses but is irksome and prevalent enough to be a separate point. Making it seem like it was out of your control when it wasn't shows you don't really accept that you had a role to play in what occurred. You made a bad choice, own it. Don't pin it on society, people, or an industry. If you insult someone for something and then apologise saying something like you hope they understand it's only show business or whatever you tell yourself at night to be able to sleep better, you completely deserve it, if trolls and keyboard warriors make it their business to teach you a lesson.



The longer you wait, the worse it gets, especially if your apology comes only after severe public outrage and outing of evidence.



When apologising, the focus should be on your mistake, your realisation, the damage caused, and the remedy or steps you are taking to prevent such a mistake from occurring again. Don't spend time and effort trying to make people feel sorry for you instead. If you are genuinely remorseful, people might just forgive you and move on. But if you appear on an interview or other public platform with tears glistening on your face and a quivering and weepy voice so people sympathise with you even though the incident you're apologising for happened two months back, you come across as fake and insincere. We believe that you would never intentionally hurt someone but please save the waterworks. The fact that you are trying to do the right thing by apologising should be enough; theatrics aren't necessary.



So you've repented and taken steps to rectify your mistake, but now you want to show people what you've done. Making a video or sharing a picture of a handwritten letter you took the time to write isn't exactly laudatory. If you've said sorry, your part is done. Whether they forgive you or not is up to them.



You would think that it is common sense to not use an emoji or a hashtag for something like your squad or team when apologising for something as serious as suicide but human beings can be surprising. Advertising your merchandise and asking people to share your apology are also some things that are not acceptable.


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