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How To Never Be Sorry (Unnecessarily)


If you’re reading this, there may be a good chance that you’re tired of not only tasting your own foot in your mouth, but of also having to apologize for it. It’s not a secret that no human enjoys being in the wrong and having to learn a harsh lesson of consequences, but nevertheless, it seems inevitable. At some time or another we end up jumping to conclusions, making assumptions, pointing fingers, or however else you want to label it, until sooner or later we are hit with reality (and the ever-prompt regret that comes right along with it).

So how do we stop this obviously unpleasant chain of events? The key (and benefit) is that of the doubt! Unfortunately, the common phrase, “benefit of the doubt,” has become overly-engrained in our everyday language, so much that we downplay how crucial and powerful this benefit actually is.

So let’s take a moment to remind ourselves. Here’s a scenario that can demonstrate how an argument might go with and without a given benefit of doubt:

Scenario A (No benefit):

A wife and husband go out to dinner. The wife asks her husband to order her the chicken marsala while she goes to call home and check on the babysitter. Her husband replies with a grunt of acknowledgement as he continues to glance over the menu. The wife repeats her request again with concern, thinking he may not have heard her correctly. The husband then replies with a faint “yep, I got it,” as he continues studying the menu. The wife gets up and leaves the table and is gone for several minutes. When she comes back she finds her husband peppering his steak, while across from him on her side of the table sits a plate of chicken parmesan.

“I KNEW YOU WEREN’T LISTENING!” she blurts, while still standing over him and glaring into his eyes.

Startled, the husband abruptly interrupts his peppering to push back in his chair and stare back at his wife in confusion.

“What are you talking about?” He asks, while furthering her feelings of insignificance.

“HELLO! THE CHICKEN! I ASKED YOU TO GET ME MARSALA AND YOU WERE TOO BUSY WORRYING ABOUT YOUR OWN DAMN DINNER THAT YOU SCREWED UP AND GOT ME PARMESAN! SO TYPICAL!”

The husband defends, “WOAH wait… but I …”

Right then, the waiter (completely unaware of this occurrence) walks over with a plate of chicken marsala and light-heartedly apologizes for having placed the chicken parmesan at the wrong table.

[*Cue wife's panicked and humiliated apologies now*].