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All-Purpose Apology Templates

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Family Member Apology Template for Cruel and Clueless Conversation
You didn't mean it THAT way. You didn't intend to offend. Or you did intend to offend, but only to shake your relative out of unproductive behavior. Questionable parenting, you know. Labeling a child. Letting a child get away with acting up or talking fresh or refusing to eat what's served. You see it so clearly, and yet when you share your wisdom or talk in your plain-spoken non-PC way, everybody gets all hot and bothered. Well, okay. You'll apologize. Let the kid go to heck in a handbasket. Far be it from you to be the one disturbing the family peace. Apparently, that kid and your poor-parenting kinfolk want that job all to themselves. If you're unaccustomed to contrition, this easy apology template offers you three options: one that's genuine or at least looks that way, one that stakes out neutral territory, and one that keeps up your reputation for being the relative most likely to tick people off.

My Heartfelt Apology
(Pick one from each group of choices)

I have recently

  • been told by a family member
  • noticed on your Facebook page
  • been alerted by the fact that you gave me a printed-out version of this page
that certain remarks I made were
  • completely inappropriate.
  • offensive, apparently.
  • the kind of thing you and other super-sensitive crazies get all up in arms about.
It was certainly not my intent to
  • hurt you in any way.
  • offend you, if that’s what I did.
  • get your knickers all in a twist.
I was just trying to
  • be helpful.
  • give you some advice that you really seem to need.
  • shake you out of your bad parenting habits and make you get that brat under control.
Because I myself
  • am a parent,
  • like to keep peace in the family,
  • know more about kids than you ever will, obviously,
I deeply regret
  • making you feel doubted or second-guessed.
  • causing any kind of a big deal here.
  • your inability to take advantage of my superior wisdom and experience.
I am
  • totally on your side,
  • not used to people taking my opinion so seriously,
  • someone who says what I think and don’t care who knows it,
and so I couldn’t have anticipated that my
  • well-intentioned advice
  • casual remark
  • plain unvarnished truth-telling
would be received the way it was. I hope you can
  • forgive me.
  • lighten up a little.
  • stop whining about me on your blog and pay more attention to your screwed-up kid.

And now, to give you some insight into what your family member is thinking when you talk that way, take in the outpouring of reader responses to my question, "What's the Worst Thing a 'Loved One' Has Said About Your Child or Parenting?", and read the articles Family Gathering Survival Kit and Dealing With Toxic People to appreciate all the work that goes into to dealing with YOU. Talk about special needs.

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