10 Famous Effective Apologies and One Non-Apology
Bill Clinton is the poster boy for effective apologies by macho men. Photo Credit: Corbis
Sometimes the best present you can give someone is an apology.
Especially if there’s been conflict in the family, this is the season to say sorry along with the season’s greetings.
What makes for an effective apology?
We found ten famous apologies that meet all the criteria.
“Apologies are about accepting responsibility and expressing regret,” says apology expert John Kador, New York Times bestselling author and author of “Effective Apology.”
An apology is not effective, he told everythingzoomer.com, if “you can’t be sure that the offender recognizes and accepts that he did something wrong.”
And you’re not really apologizing, he maintains, when you suggest that “if there was offense taken, it was because the victim is too sensitive, too thin-skinned.”
And don’t think you can apologize effectively and still save face.
“One negates the other,” says Kador. “The very act of apology is being vulnerable. That’s what makes it so difficult for men, especially powerful men.
“It doesn’t help the way men have been socialized to project power and to always be correct. The political process doesn’t help either, the way we expect more of our leaders than ourselves.”
Bill Clinton is the poster boy for effective apologies by macho men (followed closely by Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong and Don Cherry). Most Americans, including Hillary, forgave him after he delivered a public, effective apology for his indiscretion with Monica.
10 FAMOUS EFFECTIVE APOLOGIES AND ONE NON-APOLOGY
“I view this situation as one big lie I repeated a lot of times. I made those decisions, they were my mistake and I’m here to say sorry.”
“Indeed I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong … I misled people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that.”
‘I am truly sorry and I’m going to say it again. I’m sorry that my comments were inappropriate and I want to apologize to everyone for my remarks, particularly to anyone who was offended by them. It was just the wrong thing to say and I’m sorry I made them. What do you want from me except I’m sorry. I apologize, I did the wrong thing.”
Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman (after saying, about a possible trip to Mombasa, Kenya, ”I just see myself in a pot of boiling water with all these natives dancing around me.”)
I have let my family down, and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect.”
“I’m sorry I said what I did. I was wrong to relate the area of the country that Mr. Harper is from with the people who live there and with the policies that he has that don’t represent the values of most Canadians.”
“I gotta admit I was wrong on a lot of things. Three enforcers, tough guys, my type of guys, I threw them under the bus, and I’m sorry about it. I really am.”