A well crafted apology begins with Ownership of what you have done. After you have owned and taken 100% responsibility for your actions the next step is just as vital: Contrition.
Remorse for your actions is in some people's minds kinda like repentance. Without getting religious many of the concepts and ideas present in good apology do have biblical overtones.
How does remorse work to show or prove a healthy mindset?
How does expressing remorse lessen punishment and consequences?
Contrition is as Important as Ownership to a Complete Apology
When we speak of apology in the area of criminal law we are for the most part discussing POST plea. You have already plead to an offense or a crime or a violation of some type. This is your expression of first ownership (responsibility) and then remorse (feeling compassion for the victims).
Your apology begins with the PSI interview, and ends with you at sentencing before a judge.
When It Comes to a Complete Apology, It's BE, DO, and HAVE
Being apologetic (being responsible, being an owner)
Doing the apology (stating/expressing remorse, regret, and compassion)
Having the proper words, phrases, and sincerity from the heart
Often people get their apology incomplete. The only thing worse than NO apology is a bad apology. Let me state that again, A BAD apology will do more harm to you and your situation than NO apology.
Why is a bad apology worse than NO apology?
Because a BAD apology adds insult to injury. A bad apology leaves no one guessing as to your real feelings. It is you stating badly that you are NOT responsible (someone else is at fault or to blame) and that you are NOT sorry or truly sorry for what happened or what you did. Some people go as far as to say that they are the true victims. That because of their upbringing and their circumstances they were forced to act the way they did. It's NOT my fault is their cry and this doesn't play well in a court of law.
I have seen bad apologies to judges, and I have with my own clients shrunk into my skin by what they said or how they said it. So having a full grasp of apology, and what it entails is not something to be taken lightly.
Normal People, Healthy People have Compassion for Other People
Sociopaths don't care have they affect others. Pathology is the study of disease. A pathologic mind is a sick and diseased one. If you are in fact Pathologic you have NO compassion for your victims.
In a healthy society people care about one another. It is the whole basis of civilization. We have to all function together in close quarters and with that closeness comes rules and laws. If you do something that harms or affects others then a healthy mindset feels bad about that. In a nutshell, those feelings, that humanity is Contrition.
Some call it having remorse or feeling remorseful. I am sorry for what I have done, and how it affected these people. Without TRUE Sincerity for your actions don't even bother trying to express contrition. I have seen and heard empty apology with even emptier remorse. It comes thorough loud and clear just as true compassion can be felt throughout a courtroom.
In blog post three I will outline and highlight EXECUTION of the apology.