We’ve all had the experience of making a comment that was intended to be funny, but that didn’t land that way.
Even among friends who we routinely joke with, sometimes we cross a line we didn’t intend to. Sometimes because we didn’t know it was there, or because we weren’t paying attention, or we should have known better, or something has changed, or they are having a rough day.
Whatever the reason, and whomever it is with, when it happens we feel awkward and uncomfortable – and we may wish we could take it back – or even disappear.
But the words are out, so now what?
Apologies go a long way.
Saying “I’m sorry” in person (not over text or email) and meaning it is a great first place to start. (We’re trying to teach that to our 3 year old right now!) It shows that you have seen and acknowledge the impact, and the person.
Last week’s challenge from my coach was about how we treat our mistakes.
Do we use them as opportunities to learn? Good point!
So what can you learn from such a faux-pas?
What was it about what you said that hurt?
If you don’t know, find out. Learn from the mistake so you grow in awareness and can make a different choice next time.
Why did you think it would be funny? Ask yourself. Find out.
Of course talking about it can be challenging. But when we do, we connect with someone else; we get to know them a little better and they get to know us a little better too. And looking inside and asking ourselves some questions can also be challenging. But we get to know ourselves a little better.
Both are important for creating inclusive spaces.
Copyright 2015 Annemarie Shrouder
Speaker, Facilitator, Consultant, and Author on issues of Diversity & Inclusion
www.annemarieshrouder.com (new website!)