Have you ever said something you immediately regret? You wouldn’t normally say it but in the heat of the moment, the words and the tone just sort of slip out. And right away, you wish you could turn back time and try again with a whole different approach. Have you ever had one of those times?
Sure you have – you’re human too.
But…after the heartfelt apologies and the “I forgive you”…it’s supposed to be done, right? It’s not supposed to bother you anymore, right?
I don’t think that’s right. Maybe that’s how it SHOULD be, but maybe not.
I had one of those times today and even now…6 hours after the situation was over…it’s bothering me. I’ve been thinking about it some and it’s bothering me because:
- I reacted during the situation instead of responding. This is something I’ve been working on for YEARS now, thanks to Stephen Covey pointing out the essence of our humanity in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – the time between ‘stimulus’ and ‘response’ where we can pause and choose our response.
- I made a private issue into a public one. In fact, thinking back on it the issue wasn’t as serious as I had made it, so making it a public issue was really uncalled for.
As soon as I put a little distance between me and the situation, I was moved to offer a sincere public apology, which was immediately accepted.
But…I’m still regretful about the whole situation. And the more I think about it, the more I think it’s a good thing I’m regretful. Sitting in this feeling a while and thinking about how I want to handle the “next time” differently…THAT is learning from my mistake.
How about you? Do you “sit” in the regret? Or do you blow it off quickly and move on? Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts.