Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A tool for relationship-mending

I sent an email last night to apologize to someone. Afterwards, in my car, I realized that I had left something out, something that should accompany every apology. I realized that repairing a breach in a relationship requires four things, and I had done only three. And I realized that the four things could be referenced with a fun acronym - CARP.

C - stands for Confess: acknowledge that you messed up.
A - stands for Apologize: say that you're sorry, and mean it.
R - stands for Request forgiveness: don't assume that the other person will forgive you, and certainly don't demand that they do.
P - stands for Pledge, or Promise: whatever you did, say that you won't do it again, and mean it.

Hm. In writing this, I realize that there is a fifth element. Something to do with repairing any damage done, whether by giving monetary compensation, fixing or replacing an object, or working to restore a tarnished reputation. The only word I can think of to cover all those is "Repair," which makes for a lousy acronym: CARPR.

Actually, the sequence might make more sense if repair comes right after confession: CRARP.

Ew. How about putting repair after the apology: CARRP. Same pronunciation as before.

There's probably a slogan to be made from CARRP. Any suggestions?

posted from Bloggeroid

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