Millennials, sometimes we try to make things better for someone we care about, but instead, we have the opposite effect. Either we act out of character for a brief moment in time, or we try too hard and wind up failing.
I was recently in this position with a friend of mine. I was trying to make things better in what was a tough situation and ended up making things worse instead. And I can say from experience there are very few worse feelings in the world. Luckily, this person was forgiving of my inexplicable folly and moment of stupidity.
What can you do if you also find yourself in this situation, or a similar one? These are a few things to consider that hopefully you’ll find helpful if you ever mistakenly travel the same path I did.
Until someone is tired of hearing it, don’t just stop at “I’m sorry.” Say what you did wrong. Even though that person knows, the fact that you are acknowledging and aware of your wrongdoing is a step of admission that could keep the lines of communication more open.
Don’t make excuses
Don’t scramble to find a story that you think may fly. Just own up to it without any explanation that may sound logical, but is most likely not truthful. There is some level of trust and honesty that builds every type of relationship. An excuse conjured up beyond the action will only more than likely deepen the cut.
Accept the consequences
Things may go back to being the same; then again, they may not. It all depends on several factors. In life, sometimes we learn lessons the hard way. If a person isn’t forgiving or isn’t liable to be as trusting going forward, then that’s something we live and learn from.
Learn from it
It’s cliché, but we all make mistakes. I know how and why I messed up. I know what not to do in the same situation if or when it arises again. I still feel terrible about it, but I can’t go back and change my misstep. I can only try to be a better person going forward. Beating yourself up will do nothing productive. By going through this experience, I learned that I should have known better. I tried too hard, and I ended up causing more harm than good. At the same time, I know there’s only one option and that’s to try to be a better person through learning from my own mishaps.