Say You're Sorry Like You Mean It

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An apology is a delicate thing. You get one chance, so don’t do it badly and embitter the person further. If you’re going to apologize, then say you’re sorry like you mean it.

The life of a serial apologizer

I’m constantly blurting out apologies to people on a daily basis. Do you know what it’s like pushing a stroller around New York City with four kids under six years old? Literally. Here’s a snapshot of a typical morning in my family:

  • So sorry she pressed all the buttons and now we’re going up six flights rather than down when you’re in a rush and obviously late for work.
  • I apologize for blocking you (my “bus” is stuck in the entryway as I push my stroller out the door with one hand while I hold the door open with the other one).

And on and on. We can’t go anywhere without offending 99.9% of the people around us. It’s just one big, huge string of apologies. I should get some, “I’m sorry in advance” banner and stick it to the front of my carriage.

It occurred to me the other day – do I really even mean it? Or is the truth that I’m apologizing so people don’t call the cops?

Even the best of us mess up. So how do financial advisors go about apologizing the right way?