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How To Make An Apology

Apology on Van

Press Association/Associated Press

This week a man in the UK demonstrated a new and creative way of making an apology to his lover. He parked a van, labeled with a confession, at the intersection of a major thouroughfare.

While we’ll probably never know the outcome of his apology you really do have to give him style points for trying.

The hard thing about apologies is often in knowing whether or not you’ve made a good one.

You’ve probably seen a bad apology before.

Like that time the Baseball player apologized for nothing in particular, and who could forget the “apology” Chris Brown made to Good Morning America?

Here’s something I’ve learned over the years: If you ever end up having to make an apology for the apology that you just made, then you are probably also, like me, a man.

You’ve probably also been on the recieving end of a bad apology before.

Like that time somebody blamed circumstances or another person.

Or that other time when somebody apologized for “if what I did offended you”.

Maybe they apologized to you by text, email, or twitter.

Sometimes a person’s apology features a giant ” but…” somewhere along the way

Some people think that just saying “sorry”, and then sighing, counts for something.

The fact that you know just what I’m talking about suggests that the state of the American apology is in disarray.

So what does a good apology look like?

Having apologized and failed many times has taught me a good deal about how to make an apology that means something to the offended person.

Follow these 5 tips and you’ll never have to wonder if you simply made a mistake, or you are an actual jerk.

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Why “Love” Keeps Taking A Beating

On February 8th 2009, a former child star put his fists all over a budding R&B singer.

Chris Brown and Rihanna were only 20 years-old the night that their romance came to an end, and since that day both lives have been a patchwork quilt of financial successes and personal trials.

For his part Brown was arrested, booked, and eventually plead guilty to a felony assault charge.  After an initial apology and brief hiatus, he spent the next three years doing little to convince the general public that he was a person of reasonable temper and ego.

This isn’t to say that everybody hated Chris; his fans got over the incident quite quickly.  In fact Brown himself was surprised that anybody still wanted to talk about his violence towards a woman he loved; going so far as to trash his dressing room and storm off of the set at Good Morning America when host Robin Roberts dared to bring it up.

Anybody who wanted to know how Brown felt about the media “betrayal” he experienced needed to only check his twitter feed: “I’m so over people bring this past s**t up!! Yet we praise Charlie Sheen and other celebs for there b******t.”

He couldn’t seem to understand that people who didn’t need his music had a hard time forgetting that his rage sent a woman to the doctor looking like this.

While last three years have been great for Rihanna’s career, they certainly haven’t been great for her health.  Assessing personal wear with people in their twenties is a lot like buying a used car, it’s not really the years you’re looking at, it’s the mileage.

The Barbadian has put a lot of hard miles in recently.  In the last year the hard-partying singer has cancelled three public appearances and been hospitalized for “exhaustion” twice.

When your weekend leaves you in need of an I.V. you’ve clearly left reality and wandered into the dreamscape populated by Goldie Hawn, Tara Reid, and Lindsey Lohan.

Still this sort of behavior doesn’t usually make waves in the world of celebrity.  What did rock the boat was Sunday night’s personal interview with Oprah Winfrey where Rihanna dropped the bomb that she still loved Chris Brown.

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What She Needs To Believe

This summer, in a strange “life imitating art” moment, the actors involved in the film version of America’s most celebrated supernatural love-triangle found themselves caught up in a Bizarre Love Triangle of their own.  It’s still a morass of beauty, secrecy, and self-deception.

If I’ve learned anything in my 38 years, it’s that the most powerful lies that we tell are quite often the ones that we believe ourselves.  Consider the lie on display in Kristen Stewart’s recent mea-culpa regarding her relational infidelity;

“…This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him… I’m so sorry.”

You might be wondering two things right now:

Where is the lie in the above statement, and how I know that a person that I’ve never met is lying?

To the first wonderment I’d suggest that the lie probably isn’t where you think it is, and to the second I’d say this, “You don’t have to know someone to recognize a lie; you only need to have been lied to.”

But first, let’s address the truth.

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