Tempers and fuses are awfully short these days, leading us all to do and say things we regret. But how can we truly make amends and move on from that regret?
Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea talk forgiveness – personally and in business. How we seek it, how we ask for it, and what happens when we don’t find it. Along the way, we reference TRE techniques and Psychology Today’s Forgiveness Protocol. It’s a seriously introspective episode of If These Heels Could Talk.
J: Are you ready to rock this?
M: I’m ready to rock this!
M: What are we talking about, JoyGenea?
J: First. Hi. My name is JoyGenea and I’m owner of Solutions by JoyGenea.
M: And hello, my name is Michelle and I am the owner of BadCat Digital.
J: And welcome to…
M: If These Heels Could Talk!
J: Before we dive in too far on our topics, I wanted to address the fact that we have not been being accountable to some of the great advice we’ve been giving other people, as far as…
M: What kind of advice is that?
J: Well we’ve been encouraging them. I have been encouraging them to have some schedules along the way and last week we talked about having a covid pandemic plan for business and so forth.
M: I have a plan.
J: That’s what I was gonna ask. I was gonna follow up on that. Do you have a plan?
M: I wrote a plan.
J: What was that like?
M: It was actually really liberating.
J: How much time did it take?
M: 20 minutes.
J: Same here. 20 minutes. I wrote down.
M: The cleaning schedule took longer.
M: Cuz I haven’t scheduled like that. I mean this is an office, it’s not the bar I worked at in college. When I hire people I’m, ok well I want you to work this shift, but I understand people like different kinds of work schedules so if you want to come in at 8 and leave at 4:30 or you want in to come in at 10 and leave at 6 like whatever but I haven’t written a schedule since I was a bar manager in you know 2000 something.
J: So pulling out skills.
M: Dusting off some really old skills to write a schedule and so the cleaning schedule took longer because I really wanted to make it fair and…
M: You know. Impact too many people too much and there’s some people that I knew aren’t going to be able to do the same things as other people so that one took awhile.
J: Yep. But we got it done.
M: We got it done.
J: And I would totally agree with you. It took me about 20 minutes and it felt so liberating. I have a plan. I know if I get hospitalized what exactly is going to happen. Who’s going to handle what? And that they know that and I you know if I just get slightly sick I am gonna alert people but not more than normally a cold or something else. Keep it minimal. How to come back into the office and be more productive. How much meetings. Yeah. It felt really good to do that.
M: Well and the other thing I did was a cross training plan because I realized that there’s a few people on staff that if they were to be out for 3 weeks we would be hurting pretty bad.
M: I did want to have a plan for them and so now looking at my plan is to spend the next week doing one to one’s and have each of them write their plan of how they are going to get work done. Who’s going to do what? Who do I need to train to do what? So that if I get sick, etc. And so that’s what we’re working on.
J: Fabulous. We’ll check back in on the cross training, that’s gonna have to happen. How those plans go.
M: We’ll be accountable to each other for this.
J: I like it. And we’ll let everybody else know. So those were the big things. I just wanted to check in. We’re back people. We’re back on schedule. We got this. So you want me to tell my…
M: Snappy snappy.
J: Do you want me to share my story first?
M: Yes please.
J: Ok. So full disclosure this week was not my finest week.
M: Me neither.
J: I think this was my low.
J: Like the other ones were sad. Some were a little depressing but this one. This one. This one was the toughest.
M: Ok. What happened?
J: Cuz I didn’t know what it was and it crept up on me. So I kinda had to write it out so I would stay on top of it but basically this inner angst kind of crept in and the best way I had to describe it, which I wrote it out so I could get it out this week, was the Disney movie Inside Out.
M: I love that movie.
J: I adore that movie. And it totally felt like angst moved in last Friday. Kicked everybody out. Got them out entirely from the captain’s chair and took over, locked the doors, and it was like I’m running the show.
M: What color is angst? Because all of the characters in Inside Out are a color. You know all of the emotions are a color, right?
J: He was kind of blah. Actually.
M: A blah color.
J: He was really, yeah he was a gray blah-y, kind of color.
M: So a popular paint color.
J: Yeah. Pretty much. He was pretty just kind of like I’m in charge. We’re gonna be very slightly fearful, slightly worried and going to think that we can maybe control something.
J: And that’s where angst was at. It wanted some control over something. And so in its effort to do that and I didn’t realize exactly what was going on. I knew I was getting- I noticed I was getting a little more. It wasn’t even short tempered. I was not having a problem with confrontation. And for anybody that knows me I don’t really like confrontation. I’ll avoid it. I’ll give in to fights to just stop the fighting.
M: But you were…
J: I was seeking. Not seeking them out but I would overhear something and be like hey your facts are really wrong and you should maybe google that and I would walk in and hand them like the facts printed off. I’m like you don’t actually know what you’re talking about and I would walk away. I would just be like very aggressive.
M: Yeah that’s aggressive. It’s not even passive aggressive.
M: It’s just point blank aggressive. That’s very not like you.
J: Exactly. And I knew that so I was starting to monitor myself and starting to watch myself around the little community that I am around. I just didn’t know where that was going and it wasn’t familiar to me so I was like ok let’s kind of watch that. And then unfortunately.
J: I know. I had my weekly coaching call which – I have hung out with these people for 13 years. I was just calculating that. They’re amazing and I love them dearly and we are on a Zoom call so we had visual of each other but I wasn’t paying attention.
M: Did you pick your nose?
J: No, that would have been nice. That would have been simple. We wandered into a topic of being of support for one person and the topic involved abortion and a couple of other things that are super-heated things and I wasn’t paying attention and oh it was bad. It got way past confrontational. Like words were said. People left. Like it was so…. It’s so not like me.
M: Were you like monitoring your facial expressions or –
J: I mean I wasn’t monitoring theirs.
J: Yeah. So I wasn’t registering how bad what I was saying was landing.
M: You were. OK so you wandered into –
J: We were having this conversation and like this conversation was kind of going and building and I am not gonna get into too much of it because luckily we survived it. I was starring straight ahead and the screen was over here and I –
M: And you were talking and you weren’t watching it and you weren’t seeing.
J: I was not seeing that this was not landing well and I needed to stop.
J: And collect myself and disengage 100% because I didn’t care the outcome. But I was in angst. And so yes before I knew it they luckily realized they had to get away. Like they needed to stop the conversation before anything further happened and ah. I don’t remember the last time I felt that horrible. Like I just started crying.
M: Oh, I am so sorry.
J: I’m like I am so sorry. More or else everybody was fairly speechless. I think if you’re a confrontational person in that and it happens, people are accustomed to that.
J: And prepared for it but I think coming out of me in that manner really. It threw everybody. I don’t think they exactly knew how to react to it. In a coaching conversation group text like that it’s a very sacred space. You’re very careful. It’s a space where people can be really authentic and honest and so to have had somebody experience it as a violation. That was never my intention. You know but I would definitely say they experienced it as a, you know, a blantant violation of their safety.
J: And I just – man, that bell you want to unring was just not available.
M: Like the text message I just got.
M: In the middle of this really hard felt awful and I feel bad and I’m sorry I forgot to turn it off.
J: No, you’re good but that was- So and then the thing I realized the next, you know afterwards and I apologized to everybody immediately. Thank goodness for a lot of good training I’ve taken over the year so I didn’t run or act like it didn’t happen or a million things I would have done as a younger JoyGenea.
M: Yeah where you try to abscond responsibility for it.
J: Instead I texted right away and said you don’t need to respond to this at all. Do not feel obligated. I need to say this and I laid out my apology and just said I am so sorry for violating that space. Anything and everything that I said that may have offended you. And at that point I went to bed cuz it was late and then the next morning when I got up I realized I was probably best until I got angst out of there to just take a timeout.
J: Overall. And so I buried my head in a bunch of work that I needed to do which was really good. Answered almost no phone calls. Actually, I didn’t answer any phone calls and I actually kind of steered away from my husband.
M: Yeah and just isolate yourself because you know you’re not in a place.
J: No. I identified that I was just not in a place and I was not gonna do that again. I didn’t wanna feel that way again and I definitely do not want to hurt anybody in any way.
M: I’m so sorry.
J: So grateful though for all of the tools that I’ve been collecting over the years.
J: That I wasn’t – you know, you take a class here, you learn a thing there.
M: Well and the other thing is none of us are perfect. We are all people and we all get to those places and the nice thing about doing that in a group where you have been for 13 years in this sacred space is they know that’s not you. It’s so surprising. It’s such surprising behavior. So that it now becomes an aberration that you’ve apologized for instead of a pattern that they just don’t want around them.
J: Honestly it was the cleanup started by Thursday.
J: Two days later.
M: You started it immediately.
J: Oh, I started it immediately but actually by Thursday that person contacted me.
M: Oh that’s really nice.
J: Like we’ll figure this out and I probably said a few things that I’m not proud of and we’ll work through this next week and thank you. And I just said thanks.
M: Just so everybody knows that’s what space looks like. That’s what grace looks like. That’s what you know when we say we all need to give each other some room.
M: Right now. That’s what it looks like.
J: It does. And I was gonna tell everybody some of the tools that I used for that. So one of them is called TRE.
J: Which I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of.
J: It’s a newer physical technique used for post traumatic stress disorder. It’s interesting if you google it. It’s quite interesting but it’s best if you actually work with a TRE practitioner to figure out how your body best does this. You basically do some physical exercises and so forth to get yourself to cause all of the adrenaline and all of the excess energy in your muscles to release. Basically, you wind up shaking it out.
M: So what does TRE stand for?
J: Oh I don’t even remember.
M: Tension relief exercise or something?
J: Yes. It is something along that line.
M: Something along that line. Ok. That sounds great.
J: And it’s weird as hell. Like if you watch a video you’re like what the heck? But they are finding it is extremely effective for people who have PTSD and so forth where that trauma lives within their muscle structure. Like it is in there.
J: So I knew if I got it out of my muscles and started to get those to relax that would help to tell my brain-
M: To relax.
J: Yes, to let go. I did some tapping which there also doing a lot of science around and finding is very, very helpful for getting things out of your head. So there’s a sequence, it works off acupuncture points.
J: And it’s a sequence that you do, you start on your wrist and you literally tap this process around your eyes around your nose.
M: So with your fingers you tap these different part of your body. Ok
J: And the important part though is and why I did it in that order is because I was – you have statements that you make while you’re doing that and the purpose is to basically shift your mindset while you’re doing that to physically be like, “Hey we’re moving this and this is getting out” and so you’re saying it’s an interesting 3 step process but the first time you say what is. The second time you kind of walk through it like maybe it’s not as bad as I think. Maybe what if this could be forgiven. What if I can do better next. And then the next time you walk through it you say I’m not gonna do that again. And I’m not even worried about it. And this is completely forgiven and we’re going to move on and the world is going to turn out good. But you need to mentally walk through the ownership, the moment, and the future.
M: So is that what keeps that moment because you know we all have those moments and I like to say they go into my slide show. So when I can’t sleep or I’m stressed out and I’m tired and I’m anxious and I play slideshow of all of the worst, embarrassing things and all of the ways I’ve screwed up –
J: I don’t have that slideshow.
M: You don’t have this slideshow?
J: I don’t have a slideshow anymore.
M: Wow. I still have the slideshow.
J: You will release it someday.
J: Whatever techniques are to get it out.
M: Because frankly this slideshow starts I think the slideshow starts in Kindergarten.
J: Oh man. Yeah you need to return that slideshow reel. You need to give them back the plastic things.
M: And doesn’t play all of the time.
J: No, only when you’re heightened anxiety and you feel like you’re not accomplishing things.
J: Yes. Only when you pull out the I’m a loser card.
M: Yeah. Like you feel like you do something that you feel is really stupid or –
J: No, no, no.
M: Really mean?
J: That’s why I knew if I didn’t take part of that next day off to address, to own, to shift.
J: Then we could wander over there. Then we could have traumatic circumstances. Like no, I’m not taking this on. This is not supposed to be how that goes. Listen to some calming music. I wrote this out. And then after all of that and I sequenced it out. I did work in between and then so it could shift. Drank a lot of water to nourish my brain. Eat good food. And then I sat down and enjoyed 30 minutes of really good comedy.
M: Oh well there you go. Like stand -p comedy?
J: Yeah it was Jim Gaffigan’s latest.
J: I just laughed whole heartedly, like, got into it. And then after that I did a half hour of Zumba and got super sweaty and just it was out. That was my way of getting the toxic part out. And then I wouldn’t say like all of sudden I was like whooo-hoooo! Ended the day. Kept my mouth shut and the next morning when I got up I was a lot calmer.
M: And more balanced.
J: I could tell the door had unlocked. Everybody was back in the room. Angst had been loved but removed from his position as captain and the team was working.
M: Angst was over there reading manuals.
J: Yes. Being upset and being like I had power. But I don’t want you to do that again. And then I had to kind of dig at why angst was able to do that. Like what and I found it finally. It was a timeline. I didn’t realize it but there was a date – in this pandemic there have been dates that they’re going to allow you know like stay in place is maybe gonna end on this day. That kind of thing. And I hadn’t been tripped up by any of those. This one dealt with business and it dealt with some loan stuff.
M: Oh yeah. Like you had a date in your mind that there was going to be something deposited or something dealt with or something finalized.
J: There are 20 other questions behind it but once this one got answered then I could answer the next 20.
J: And I didn’t realize I’d spent the whole week last week like starring at it and calling and asking.
M: And trying to figure out why it didn’t happen the week before.
J: Basically giving angst control.
J: That’s what really every day when I kept trying.
M: Like giving up control to angst.
J: That’s what I was doing. I was kicking the new person out.
J: Yeah and so that was my scenario and I wanted to share it with people cuz I am not alone.
J: In doing this it’s actually… My coaching group laughed once we kind of sorted it. I spoke to a few of them separately afterwards, different days and they’re like oh yeah that happened to me like the first week. Like, you’re just having this? I’m like you know this date.
M: I didn’t get tripped up by this and I didn’t get tripped up by that.
J: I was cruising along. But that one got me.
M: Well and this is kind of what we’ve been saying the whole time. We’re on this journey together but we’re all experiencing it in a really different way and so it feels like we should be doing these things at the same time because we have been in this for the same time frame but we’re all hitting that point at different times and in different ways.
J: Yes. I was just gonna say that’s the other thing I really have to keep in mind is it looks differently for each person.
M: Each person. And this isn’t just a business thing. Unfortunately, I heard a really, a really disturbing story today actually in the town where my family lives. There was incident in a box store parking lot with two gentlemen fighting over a parking space.
J: Oh boy.
M: And the younger gentleman – and by younger probably mid-fifties.
M: Hit the older gentleman who fell down and unfortunately passed away.
J: Oh man.
M: And so now a man has committed manslaughter over a parking space.
J: Which really had nothing to do.
M: It has nothing to do with the parking space and that’s the thing, like I read the news stories and now you’re getting news stories about people you know getting into physical altercations over masks and I mean if we think about that from a business perspective what a horrible position that puts a business in because now I have to make a choice of I’m requiring my employees to wear a mask because that’s legally what I’m required to do in order to stay open.
M: Whether I agree or believe in it or not.
J: Here’s the protocol.
M: This is the protocol. So my employees are required to do certain things, perform extra job tasks and wear a mask that, frankly, we both know are not always the most comfortable and easy to manage and easy to wear thing. And now I have done my absolute best to politely ask my customers that they wear masks as well. Which keeps my employees safer so that they can come to work and I don’t have problems among my labor pool which I need in order to stay open and make any sort of money right now. But now I have a problem where customers are pushing back at that policy. Actively decrying that policy and my employees are in physical jeopardy because of this policy that’s intended to keep them physically safe. So if I think about this from the employer standpoint, what a horrible position. If there’s anything we can do to help any business right now it’s lay off and play by the rules.
J: Yes. That is nicely stated.
M: It doesn’t cost us anything to lay off and play by the rules.
J: And just get those employees are just doing their job. The business owners just following protocol. Just we all want out of this.
M: Just trying to do our best with very little information.
J: So one of things I want to add to this and then we’ll wrap that up so I don’t take up the whole time. One of the things I did do was a nice google search on how to ask for forgiveness. When you have really done things you would like to take back.
M: I like that. That’s a really good one.
J: And there are some really good article about it. There are 10 steps that somebody wrote out that I thought were really worthwhile so its called the Forgiveness Protocol. Number one is you say you are sorry.
J: Easy enough. Number two take an inventory of how your behavior might have hurt or harmed someone. Be strong enough to ask that person if the list complete and correct your list to reflect the complete account of the cost of your behavior.
M: I really like that.
J: And that’s vulnerability on a high level. But if you have violated somebody else’s sacred space you have to go there.
M: You have to ask.
J: If you really want forgiveness you got to go there.
M: Because you need to understand what your behavior cost them in a complete way. You can’t assume what your behavior cost them. Wow. Yeah that’s very vulnerable.
J: Number three is say you’re sorry again. Be prepared to say this many times.
J: Number four tell the other person exactly how you understood the cost of your behavior and allow the other person to vent, elaborate, retaliate as needed so that the other person really feels heard.
J: And if you’ve ever sat there and allowed somebody to do this.
M: It’s hard.
J: It’s really hard.
M: It’s really hard because you want to defend your actions. You want to say I didn’t intend that. That’s not what I intended.
J: But the whole point is that is how that other person experienced your-
M: And the only way that you can say that’s not what I intended to say is, “I am so sorry.”
J: Yup. Number five is clarify with the other person if the behavior was a simple accident, a mistake, a mistake in calculation of cost and benefits or deliberate deed. This part is not easy and it takes time and do not be thoughtless about it.
J: Number six is humbly ask forgiveness. Describe your inner state of guilt, remorse, sadness, grief, anger, or whatever your feeling.
J: Number seven is describe what you have learned from the incident. How insight and awareness of yourself when your mistakes and the other person in his or her pain.
J: Eight. List what you will do or change to avoid a repetition of the incident.
M: Oh that’s good one.
J: And number nine clarify what penalties to expect if you make a mistake or transgression again. Discuss what each of you will do to avoid repetition. And number 10 say you’re are sorry yet again.
M: Yeah. This is a good list.
J: I read it and I went wow yeah that’s –
M: The thing that I would do too with a list like that is to say how do we add specific behaviors to each one of those things that we shouldn’t do. So for example I’m sorry but. Not an I’m sorry.
M: I am sorry is a statement in and of itself. It ends with a period. It does not have a comma however after it. And making it however instead of but is not anything.
J: Finding any other words that fit in that spot. It’s not the same.
M: I’m sorry. Period. I am so sorry. Period. Like that’s an apology. And so I would say to that there’s a lot of lessons to be learned here in responding to online refuse.
J: That’s a really good point.
M: Because here’s the thing. And I know that this a divisive thing because a lot of businesses have a lot of frustrations with online reviews. And I don’t blame them at all. I think that from an online review perspective if we think back to the big brand disasters of the last -cuz we kind of alluded to that in our podcast about feeling adrift. If we think back to the big brand disasters of the last 5 years, 10 years that came from online comments or reviews not a single one of them was generated by the initial review. All of them have been generated by the companies response to that review.
J: That’s cuz they tripped over number one.
M: Cuz they trip over number one. Say you are sorry. Full stop. I am sorry.
J: Missed the whole number one people.
M: And the thing is it’s really hard to be sorry when you’re not.
J: That’s true.
M: And so when you don’t think the claim or the review or the statement is fair then you’re not sorry because you don’t think it’s fair and frankly it might be false.
J: And it happens.
M: And it happens all the time
J: There opportunist people out there that choose those things.
M: People leave reviews. Horrible reviews about companies because that company fired their friend. I mean.
J: Or because their friend just became competition in that market.
J: I’ve totally dealt with that.
M: Yeah. Absolutely. So I mean there’s all kinds of unjust and unfounded claims on the internet. We’ll leave that for another day. But there’s so many of them and the thing is that there is a level of trust for your customers and your clients in terms of dealing with online reviews that they’ll read that they can read the crazy too.
M: And sift through the crazy. And so if you responded to an unjust, an unfair, or false online review by escalating it you are not doing yourself any favors and that’s where most of the PR disasters come from. So online reviews step one say you are sorry. And then recognize that that person just wants to be heard. Just like what you said make an inventory of how your behavior might have hurt or harmed that person. Think about it and write it down. I am sorry. And then the next step I am sorry your experience was terrible. I am sorry that you got a bad sandwich. I am sorry that-
J: We got your order mixed up
M: I’m sorry we got your order mixed up. I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Whatever it is. Just start there. And don’t try and weasel out of it.
J: And see if from an online perspective see if you can move them from a particularly –
M: Public –
J: Platform. And bring them into a more quiet opportunity for them to even share some more with you so you can learn.
M: Right. So it’s I’m sorry, that happened, I would like to follow up with you privately, here’s how you get in touch with me.
J: What you have to say is important to us.
M: And we would really like to hear from you further. Thank you very much. Again my apologies. And that’s the end. And it follows that process that you just laid out.
J: And then when you get to talk to them. You go into the further steps.
M: Well and the thing is that even just that will calm 95% of what you get out there. And right now just so everybody knows, right now, in part because of the pandemic, google reviews are not going live.
J: I wondered about that.
M: So if people leave google reviews right now and this is something that was asked and has been verified if people go and leave google reviews right now that review stays there but it’s not pushed public. So it’s not being made public right now.
J: Do you know why some of that is?
M: I would imagine that it’s because people are you know making complaints about masks and hours being cut and people being closed and not being open for you know.
J: Do you know one of the reasons Apple had to do that?
J: Because students figured out that if they down rated certain apps under a certain rating they got removed from the store so if you didn’t want to use Zoom you rated Zoom really ,really bad and Zoom got removed from Apple.
M: From the app store.
M: Wow. So the app store must have shut off their reviews too.
J: Yeah. They had to.
J: I learned it from a college professor. His students informed him of this. This is how you do this and instantly I noticed they talked about it in the news. They’re like ratings not for Zoom and a couple of other apps have gone way down. And I’m like hahaha. I chuckled and I’m like yeah that’s because.
M: Well and let’s just be clear now google reviews when we talk about google reviews there the ones that show up on the google maps. Apple reviews on Apple maps so if you have an Apple device that review listing on the Apple maps is actually from Yelp. What you’re talking about JoyGenea, is the app store reviews.
M: You go inside the Apple store to download something. That’s what you’re talking about.
J: That’s what I’m talking about.
M: Yeah. I just wanted to clarify it.
J: Thank you, I hopped over.
M: Yes, because Yelp is still very much alive.
J: It is. And it’s very important for Apple account.
M: Well, it’s very important for everything.
M: And so anyway the point that I’m trying to make is that this concept of forgiveness I think has kind of plays in all aspects. And the biggest, the biggest thing that kind of permeates those 10 steps is this idea of humility and this idea that –
J: You said that well.
M: What I think happened in my behavior is not in any way pertinent.
J: It’s not.
M: The other person’s experience is what I’m focusing on in all 10 of those steps.
M: And so from a business perspective –
J: It’s the same thing.
M: You have to remove as an owner especially.
J: And it’s really hard.
M: It’s so hard.
J: And this is when I would totally tell you remember I said you need those 5 trusted people.
J: That is when you have your 5 trusted people. You pick one talk to about the reviews and you say boy I need your help on this cuz if I respond to this it’s not gonna follow this protocol.
M: It’s not gonna follow. Because my ego literally, and I’m not saying like because I’m arrogant or whatever its because I have sweated blood for this business for 6 years and I can’t emotionally separate from this.
J: And right now you really…
M: Right now it’s really hard to emotionally separate from anything JoyGenea.
J: I know. They merge. I mean, look, I had angst take over. Like and this is happening for everybody not just me.
M: Just in different schedules and in different times. Wow I have to think because I don’t know if I’ve had some bad weeks some bad days. I absolutely have but I don’t know if I’ve gone there yet. And I think I need to kind of think back and make sure that I don’t have any fences to repair. Cuz what is it that you always say, it’s never too late to say you’re sorry.
J: You can always walk through all of this. It is never too late.
M: It’s never too late to say sorry.
J: So to add to this I continued to look on but what if they don’t forgive you.
J: Cuz this happens. And that was actually some of the salt in that conversation that got started.
J: Over there. So I’m just gonna read a little segment out of a psychologytoday.com article. And it was – this is the hardest part. Sometimes no matter what you do or say it won’t be enough. If they’re experience, however it happened is the way it is, your apology is not accepted. This person advises that you access the reason why. If the recipient says he needs more time you might respond with I understand and I am willing to give you more time. I’d like to call you next week does that sound alright. Sometimes people may hesitate to grant forgiveness because the offended restoration isn’t enough. In that case you might respond with I’d like to know what I can do to make this right. Can we brainstorm together? This shows that you are willing to do whatever it takes to make amends. And finally, there may be times when people flat out refuse your apology no matter how well intended or heartfelt. She suggested that you can only respond by stating your desire to maintain your relationship and you could say I understand that you want nothing to do with me and I regret that my mistake has led us to this place. I do not want to end our friendship. I can only say that if you change your mind I will be willing to continue our relationship. And after that you leave them alone.
M: And that’s humility.
J: It’s tough.
M: It’s tough because it puts all of the control in the other person’s hands. But there is nothing that’s more respectful than that.
J: You know I read through it and I went – I have to remind myself this person may choose to leave our group. Like I have may have caused them that kind of pain at that level.
M: Or this person may choose to ask you to leave.
J: Right. Which they would have every right to do and I would need, you know, we would need to negotiate that. Or what if there was no space for forgiveness.
M: Yeah. I mean it does happen. It happens all of the time.
J: It does.
M: It does. It happens all the time and I think that those 3 suggestions are respectful of the other person’s experience. Well again, humility. Allowing that.
J: Good word.
M: Stepping back from the situation, saying this is your choice and your decision solely. I don’t get a say in this. I am the transgressor. And that’s so hard to do.
J: Absolutely. But there is a place when you have to get there.
M: It is. There is a place when you have to get there…
J: And let it go with love. I will tell you letting go with love is what that is.
M: It is.
J: It’s saying I understand you need this space and I leave this space open for you should you want to return and you walk away with grace.
M: But, man, especially if you feel that you are the harmed party or that you haven’t really done anything to harm that person. Like you really have to go through those other 10 steps.
J: You do.
M: Again. To really truly understand how your behavior has affected another person. And we’re not in any way in this conversation saying that nobody is responsible for their behavior.
M: Every individual is responsible for their behavior. And we’re also not saying that an individual doesn’t have freedom to act as he or she sees fit. Absolutely. But one of the consequences of that may be that you lose a friend. And so through this process can we have the maturity and the forethought to understand that if I’m going to hold X here then Y might happen.
M: And that’s where we get to make decisions. And that’s where freedom is. It’s in the responsibility of that. Freedom is I get to do this.
J: And you just need to forgive me and so what. Like let’s get over it.
M: Freedom is in the, “I’m willing to take on the consequences of my decisions.” The responsibility of it.
J: And I wanted to really remind us that as a community I don’t think I’m gonna be the only person that falls over a line and I don’t think other people aren’t gonna happen to fall on that line towards me.
M: Believe me, I know that you’re not the only person.
J: Right. And my point is also is maybe helping another person through an apology.
J: I’ve had the ability to walk somebody through what I needed.
J: And say if we could have this conversation I think we can move forward. Like we can get there. Can we have this conversation? And they were strong enough and wanted it bad enough.
M: You walked through that.
J: Right. But they didn’t know that that’s what it was gonna take. They stopped at one. There were like well, I said I was sorry. And I’m like I’m still over here festering. I haven’t let go. I want to let go. But the only way I know how to do that is to actually kind of do something really similar to this and I said if we want to make that happen we can do that.
M: You know I had an employee not too long ago who said this is how I feel here. And it was a revelation to me because I had no idea. And it was really, really, really hard to sit in the moment that I was in with that person and just say I’m sorry. You don’t deserve to feel that way and I’m really sorry. And in my head at the time was, “Seriously? These are the 45 things that I’ve done to prevent you from feeling that way. You couldn’t have taken advantage of one of them and then you don’t have to feel this way?”
M: But out loud I said I am sorry you don’t deserve to feel that way. I’m sorry that I have made you feel that way.
J: That was really mature way to do that.
M: It was so hard. Oh my gosh, JoyGenea, it was so hard.
M: And it was.
J: Cuz your ego was back there like, yeah, but –
M: My ego was back there pounding, like, you’re good at this why would you know like why would you do this badly? You’re good at this. You’ve really worked to make this an environment that people don’t have to feel like that and you know like seriously everybody says your’re good at this. Who is this person saying you’re not good at this.
M: I mean that’s where my brain went. And it was so hard but at the same time when I gave that space it made everything else easier afterwards.
M: And when I allowed that door to open everything else got easier.
J: And you didn’t keep it.
J: See that’s the beauty of this process.
M: It’s not in the slideshow
J: I told you guys this story about that. It’s in the past. Like that thing is already tucked away in the past. I’ll finish cleaning it up this week. It will have a few lingering moments but its already done.
M: And you don’t even have a slideshow. It didn’t enter my slideshow because I was actually proud of what I had done in that moment. Whether or not I was happy with and proud of everything that came after. Everything that somebody said. In that moment, I was proud of myself because I took a deep breath and I looked somebody in the eye and I took responsibility for something that, yes I needed to take responsibility for because –
J: Yes you did. That is how she experienced it.
M: Because that’s how she experienced it.
J: And that was never your intention.
M: No. Not at all. And so that’s the difficult part about this is that I’m wondering if what we’re kind of dancing around is to say first we have to forgive ourselves.
J: Oh, that’s absolutely in here.
M: And then we get to forgive other people.
M: And if we try to do that process.
J: Good point.
M: Out loud at the same time it’s gonna come out defensive. Like selfish and self-righteous.
J: And protective.
M: Pretentious. And I mean defensive is really the best word for it.
J: And like the other person hasn’t been heard because you are doing two things at once.
M: Right. So you’re not really listening.
J: And you’re right, you’re not listening
M: You’re not really listening because you’re working to respond like…
J: Which isn’t what needs to be said at all in that moment.
J: And luckily that moment did not happen during pandemic. When we have more of our brain.
M: I have to say, JoyGenea, I really appreciate this topic and I really appreciate you being so open with your experience and being so vulnerable with your experience. Thank you very much. Because I’m now going to take an inventory of my behavior, especially over the last 6 weeks, and think back and just has angst driven to that point yet. And now not only will I be watching for it…
J: Yes, you have somebody to call if you need to.
M: I have somebody to call if I need to. You are one of my 5!
J: You got it.
M: But I also have tools to use when it happens because I am gonna be really real, it’s gonna happen. I’m tired. I’m frustrated. I’m exhausted.
J: It’s gonna happen to all of us I think.
M: I think we’re all just tea kettles waiting to boil and so you boil over this week and it’s a gracious gift for you to give not only me but anybody to happens to listen to this podcast that the tool’s, the story to recognize what’s happening. To identify it and then to fix it afterwards. Thank you.
J: You are welcome and we can all do this together.
M: Yup. We think stronger together.
J: Well we better wrap up.
M: But this was a really big, good topic.
J: It was
M: So thank you so much. Thank you for listening. We hope that we have brought you some insight into the world of business and the world of ourselves.
J: Thank you so much to those people that are out there on the front line making everything happen for us so we can continue to make crazy little podcasts and living in the comfort of our home as we do. We thank you so much for listening.
M: Have a good day.