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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2005
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    Default Conveying regret and remorse?

    Having a terrible time finalizing a long overdue letter to a kind-hearted former dear friend to apologize for my being a TFA a year ago when I unilaterally wrecked our friendship.

    My former friend and I had dozens of conversations. We met one another through a mutual loved one. It amounted to a hundred hours at least, and we'd evolved a solid trusting friendship.


    It wasn't calculated or deliberately vicious -- a moment of blindness in a dire circumstance -- but my intentions do not count. Susan Neiman said in her book on evil, that intentions do not matter, that it only matters whether a road leads to hell. In the fact, it proved to be vicious.

    Never before betrayed a friendship in my life and am sure I never will again.

    This is uncharted territory for me. No problem admitting to being totally wrong -- that's always easy because I'm often wrong and I'd made a clumsy unsuccessful initial effort -- but instead my difficulty is how adequately to convey my deepest regret and remorse.

    Someone we both respect suggested that all I can do is explain and apologize in as open-hearted a way as possible and trust good will and the gods to sort it out as they will.

    Seems like too thin a reed upon which to rely.
    If I knew what I were doing, why would I take lessons?

    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 4, 2012
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    Southeast US
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    Default

    I've written one of those letters in my lifetime. I simply said I owe you an apology, I was wrong, I'm sorry, and I deeply regret my actions.

    I did not make any excuses or offer any explanations for my behavior beyond saying I was stupid, immature, and self-absorbed. I felt like making excuses and offering explanations seemed too much like trying to justify my actions and deflect the blame that I well deserved.

    I kept it short and didn't babble on and I did not say anything that suggested in any way that I expected any kind of response.


    9 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2007
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    West Palm Beach, FL
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    Default

    What you just said in that post is brilliant and if I were the person you're talking about, that's all I'd really need to hear. Especially this:

    Never before betrayed a friendship in my life and am sure I never will again.
    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
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    Default

    Speak from the heart. Apologize for SPECIFIC things, not just "I was an asshat and I'm sorry."

    But I have to warn you...be prepared to not get a response back or to get a nasty one. It's a two way street. You can do this side of it, but there are no guarantees. Just because we're sorry, well intentioned, whatever...well, it doesn't always fix it.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    4 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 7, 2004
    Location
    Linden, CA
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    Default

    If you like fiction, Lois Bujold's A Civil Campaign includes the hero sweating through writing just such an apology. I don't have it handy to quote from, but the key thing I wanted to pass along is, don't be attached to the outcome. Apologize because it's the right thing to do, not because you're trying to craft a message that will somehow magically repair things. (Not that you were, that's just where my wandering mind is wandering.)
    Quote Originally Posted by HuntrJumpr
    No matter what level of showing you're doing, you are required to have pants on.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Lorena, Texas
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    Default

    I've been on the writing end and the receiving end both once in my life.

    On the writing end, I probably didn't own up to my part of the friendship's end as much as I should have. I did write my former friend and tell her that I had been thinking about her a lot (true) and missed her (true) and was sorry that our friendship fell apart (true). We aren't as close as we once were, but we are friends again.

    On the receiving end, someone wrote me and basically said, "I was an ass and believed something someone else said. I'm sorry." I was SO impressed at someone owning a mistake like that and actually coming forward and saying it... that it made a huge impression on me. (The person and I weren't really friends before, we knew each other because of the rescue I ran at the time. We ARE friends now).
    Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

    Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 24, 2011
    Location
    Idaho
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jetsmom View Post
    TFA????
    Total Fruitbatting A-hole, I think.
    Nanakorobi yaoki: Seven times fall, eight times rise.
    http://reveilleandrinsie.blogspot.com


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2012
    Location
    Montana
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    Default

    Thats awesome, not the TFA part but the atonement part!
    More people should do it,havingdone it quite a bit, it feels wonderful and each timeI wonder why I would ever deprive myself of hte opportunity to clean my sie of the street.
    Absolutely-no excuses. at all. Just the specifics for what you regret, no explanation, just the acts and that you regret them, and have taken steps to try to ensure they will not happen again. I have asked for forgiveness but noted that I understood if it was not possible. In at least two cases, it was not.
    But, I felt clean(er). I wish they had offered forgiveness but I know why they did not. They know I am totaly available if at any point they wish to estabish contact.

    Sure, face to face is wonderful but not always practical.
    I think your letter sounds terrific.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2005
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    NC
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rodawn View Post
    Speak from your heart, but if I were the friend you hurt, I would want this apology face to face and to hear the words with my own ears. A letter doesn't always suffice, except in situations where long geographical distances get in the way.
    There is some distance so in-person isn't feasible at this time, but I can fit a CD into the envelope along with the written letter. When she first contacted me, she specifically wanted to hear my thoughts about our friend-in-common in my own voice. I can do that. Audio or video. What do you think? The risk is that it may seem hokey, though if I skipped the letter and just enclosed the CD...
    If I knew what I were doing, why would I take lessons?

    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein



  11. #11
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    Feb. 25, 2012
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    Montana
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    Default

    I truly don't htink it matters. The sentiment is what counts. I'd go with the letter if it were me, but either way, send it!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
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    Ocala
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    Default

    If I were the other person, just the fact that you are taking the time and effort to write a letter (which is never done anymore in this instant message world we live in) and the fact that you had to be thinking of this for some time to initiate this, would mean a lot to me. Of course none of us know the extent of what you did, and no one knows how the person on the other end will react, but no matter how they do, it sounds like a heartfelt apology is due to them.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2005
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    SF Bay Area
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    Default

    I'd skip any explanations ... just go for the straight "I'm sorry for ... " part.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
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    Nov. 8, 2005
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    NC
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    Default

    Thank you, all of you, so far, who have had the experience and thoughtfulness to help me with this. It's not a moral dilemma. As you all thankfully get, the right thing to do has been obvious from the moment I realized my first effort failed and had been lost in the shuffle. The challenge has been how to do it justly and optimally. Your responses have helped me to shape that. better than I am capable to do without sage advice.

    I probably should have posted this thread under an alter, but somehow it felt cleaner to post it in my own right.
    If I knew what I were doing, why would I take lessons?

    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein


    2 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
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    Nov. 8, 2005
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    Default

    Incidentally, I can't bring myself to ask for forgiveness. It feels presumptuous. Is that reasonable? Or should I?

    I have no expectations. Everything is lost. It ought not to have been this way, but all that counts here is what happened here between this wonderful woman who I feel I have betrayed. Everything else is peripheral.
    If I knew what I were doing, why would I take lessons?

    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2004
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    Collegeville, PA
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    Default

    I think you should say something like, "I would love for you to forgive me for this horrible thing I did, but I can understand if you won't/cant, I just wanted you to know that I am truly sorry either way."
    My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!
    http://www.youtube.com/kheit86


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
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    Mar. 23, 2005
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    Default

    I think that your instincts are correct - forgiveness is something that is granted, not requested.

    Simply apologize succinctly and sincerely, without laying any burden of expectation of any kind of response from the wronged party.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2003
    Location
    Iowa, USA
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    Default

    ditto all above. It's an interesting idea to record your apology. I like it, actually. Tone of voice matters sooooo much. I wouldn't do both, though -- one or the other. .
    You prob know this already but definitely avoid the phrase "I'm sorry if..." This makes it seem like you're not 100% convinced that you were indeed wrong, and that maybe it's her problem that she got offended.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
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    Apr. 17, 2002
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    between the barn and the pond
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    Default

    I am writing to tell you that I've regretted the moment that I said ____, from the moment I said it. I'm sorry that it took me so long to tell you - I wanted to, but I wasn't sure how. I'm sorry that my (words/actions/whatever it was that you did) hurt you/ruined our relationship/whatever it did. I'm sorry. I did those things, and I hate it that I did, but I did. I just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry, I own it completely that my actions/words/deeds destroyed your trust/faith/belief/friendship with me.

    Thank you for reading this note. I hope with all that I have in me that you are doing well, and wish you only the best.

    If you'd like to talk, my cell # is ________. I will understand if I don't hear from you, but I surely hope I will.

    All my best,

    ABC.

    ----


    Just OWN it. No ifs, no buts, not much but "I AM SORRY"


    2 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
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    Nov. 8, 2005
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    NC
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    Default

    Thank you all for the grace of your assistance. It will make a difference.

    I expect nothing, but even if I get nothing in reply, I need to know that I've done everything possible on earth or in the heavens to make it right, and you all have helped with that.

    Tangential matters are immaterial. Insofar as I know I have done nothing wrong, although I'm open to being surprised. If in any way I am culpable I'll take responsibility for those, too.
    If I knew what I were doing, why would I take lessons?

    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein


    1 members found this post helpful.

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