The ability to share and receive a message in real time over social media or livestream impacts the way we all interact with one another and with public figures. One consequence is that if a well-known person says or does something that doesn’t sit well with the general public, the public has an outlet for sharing their disappointment. This kind of backlash often leads to an apology from the offender. Some may see this as negative and controlling while others may appreciate that those with influence be held accountable for their words and actions. Either way, the public apology can be seen as a whole genre of communication, with many examples from which to study what makes an apology good or sincere or acceptable.
Here is one take on the do’s and don’ts of apologizing. What do you think?
Play the following video [1:55]:
How to Apologize (Modern Manners w/ Amy Aniobi)
- What’s an example of a good apology you’ve received or heard? What made it so? (Accept all reasonable answers. These answers might exemplify some of the traits mentioned in the video such as someone accepting responsibility or sharing how they’ll rectify their wrong.)
- What’s an example of a poor apology you’ve received or heard? What made it so? (Accept all reasonable answers; for example, using “you” language, as referenced in the video, or otherwise coming across as half-hearted or insincere.)
- When making an apology yourself, what is most difficult? (Accept all reasonable answers. Accepting responsibility for your actions can be difficult, especially if you aren’t sure what the other person’s reaction will be. Apologizing in person can also be uncomfortable.)
- Why do you think apologies are important? (Accept all reasonable answers. Apologies are good for healing, reconciliation, and progress.)
In some ways, an apology is like the Christian practice of confession. God asks us to confess our sins and promises forgiveness. We can confess personal and cultural sin. Today we’ll learn from the example of Daniel.