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Monday, April 29, 2013

The Correct Way to Eat Humble Pie

Do you know that sinking feeling you get the very minute you realize that you messed up? That moment when you said something you regret and it's seconds too late to stop it from coming out of your mouth? That instant when you did something that you can't undo? That realization that you're going to have to eat some humble pie again?

We all do. This is the place where regret is born. You should never live with regret… especially if you don't have to. Regret could be summed up as that inner turmoil that threatens to consume every day of your life until you stare it down, size it up, and put it to rest once and for all. Some say that this is easier said than done. While that may be true, the recipe for eliminating regret only requires a few simple ingredients. What follows is the recipe for humble pie.

Be Sincerely Sorry
You need to humbly admit when you are wrong. Even if it takes some time to see how you hurt someone who matters to you (just don't drag this out), you need to realize that they have indeed been hurt. At this point, it matters little that you did not intend to hurt anyone, clearing up that issue will come later. When you understand the degree to which another was hurt, your pride starts to crumble. And pride is the enemy of true humility.

And don't merely say, "I'm sorry" or say it in a manner that conveys you don't really mean it anyway. Communicate your realization about the offense. In other words, "I'm sorry that I hurt you by saying or doing _________________ (fill in the blank)." You may even add, "I feel just horrible about it and I wish I could undo it."

Seek Forgiveness
While sincerely saying, "I'm sorry" is a solid start, you're just getting warmed up. Next you need to seek forgiveness. When you ask someone to forgive you it serves to validate your sincere apology. It also asks the other person to respond. Since most people don't want to be unforgiving, they will try to offer the forgiveness you are seeking. Even if they are not ready to forgive just yet, you have still taken an important step toward resolution.

Make a Change
One of the most authentic ways to demonstrate your sincerity is to take action so that you will not repeat what you did in the first place. How can you keep your mouth in check? Do you need to learn when it's time to take a walk and calm your temper? Can you be more aware of your own defensiveness or assumptions that contributed to your mistake? Whatever it is in your situation, you need to wrestle with any changes that can be made.

This can often be the most challenging step since it requires repeated and deliberate rehashing of the event with yourself. It's easy to move on after the apology and forgiveness, but that would be a mistake that could lead to another similar situation in the future. In fact, the next time could be much worse since it implies that you learned nothing from the last time!

Be Accountable
After you have worked on some changes, ask your spouse if they have noticed your efforts. Of course, you are hoping that they say, "YES!" But even if they say, "no," you have still communicated your sincerity and your desire to do what you can. And who can argue with that? The worst case scenario here is that you continue to work on any changes and your spouse is more aware that you are trying.

Humble pie can taste just awful and regret is a bitter pill to swallow, but you may not have to do either if you learn to be proactive in seeking forgiveness and making changes.

If you ever have questions, need clarification or help, or just want to offer some constructive criticism, we would love to get an email from you.

By Brad & Tami Miller. Contact us at Copyright © 2013