The Uncommon Life

Say What?

September 14, 2011

We all screw up. But men do it more. Well, at least they’re the ones saying “sorry” all the time. Copywriter Nina Mozes offers tips for guys to give that apology a ring of sincerity.

So guys, here are a few tricks to imbue your present apology with staying power for as long as it takes you to mess it up again.

This phrase is universally recognizable:
“I don’t want you to do the dishes, I want you to want to do the dishes,” she said.

And then the guy says, “Who wants to do the dishes?!”
And then the girl says, “That’s not the point! Tonight you’re sleeping on the couch!”
And then the guy says, “Baby I’m sorry. Do I still have to sleep on the couch?”

OK, maybe that’s just rough dialogue from the movie The Breakup, but don’t tell me you don’t recognize it from real life.

Now here’s where Vince Vaughn went wrong: he tried to apologize without having any idea what he might or should be sorry for.

That’s step 1:
If you don’t know why you’re sorry, either:
a. Pretend you do, or

Pick a line to write in the card:
a. I see how my actions hurt you, and I’m very sorry.
b. You’re so totally crazy, but I’ve come around to your irrationality and apologize for triggering it.

Vince should have taken responsibility for his carelessness and pledged to do better in the future.

In one of these ways, Step 2:
a. I could have handled the situation better, and from here on out I plan to be thoughtful of your needs and to think about the ramifications of my decisions.
b. It’s totally your fault, but now I know what pisses you off and there is no way I’m going to let you unleash that wrath again.

And of course, no apology is successful without an attempt to buy someone’s love.

Like buying lingerie, here’s a gift for her that’s really for you:
My Phone is Off for You Handkerchief

Nothing says “I’m cool with you moving in now” like a place to put her toothbrush:
Black Nickel Bathroom Holders

A stamp that literally says “I apologize” doesn’t replace the card, but it sure helps says “I’m thinking ahead to my future mistakes and saying sorry for my past ones.”
I Sincerely Apologize Message Stamp

Next time just don’t screw up in the first place.

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