You Can’t Unroll a Snowball.
And, you can’t unring a bell. Okay, so you’ve said the “thing” to a friend, family member, or co-worker that you wish you hadn’t said. Maybe you were well-intentioned, and perhaps there was even truth in what you said, but your tone and choice of words were not ready for prime time and definitely won’t appear on your highlight reel at the pearly gates of heaven.
Fortunately, there is light at the end of your now-chilly relationship, a thawing that always begins with an apology. Try this: “It’s not easy for me to say I’m sorry, but not admitting a mistake is worse than pointing out a mistake. While I still believe in my logical point, I lacked empathy and artfulness in how I expressed it. Please accept my apology, and let’s get back to a healthy debate on this topic.”
While you can’t unroll a snowball, by acknowledging your part in creating the snowball fight, you can bring a smiling spring sun to the relationship faster than you can by sticking to your guns or reiterating that you were right.
David Thoreau wrote, “If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not try to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see.” In other words, as Gandhi said, “My life is my message.” Actions speak louder than words.