How NOT to Apologize... Thanks to Roseanne

By now, you’ve heard about Roseanne’s un-apology to Chicagoan and Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett for calling her an ape in a tweet that eventually got her fired from her show’s return to television. 

She went on Sean Hannity’s Fox network show Thursday night (see clip below) and gave what many have called a bad apology, mostly because she finished by saying Valerie needed a new haircut.

Roseanne’s probably her own worst enemy in general, but here’s the real problem… most people don’t know how to do two things: apologize or give a compliment.  This is a perfect example of both.  If she’d just kept it simple and sincere, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

So here's some food for thought:  If you hear yourself saying, “I’m sorry, BUT”… STOP. Because the “but” just cancelled out the apology and all you’re doing is giving an excuse for your bad behavior. 

If you give a compliment that’s a comparison or if you add anything after it, you’re at risk of messing that up too.  Just say, “I love your hair!” or “That’s a great dress/suit!”  Don’t say, “I love your hair so much better this way!” or “That’s a great dress/suit because it makes you look so much taller/thinner!” No. No. No.  That’s a back-handed compliment and the world would be so much better without them.

Saying all this to say… Don’t be Roseanne.  Keep it simple and sincere.  And stop while you're ahead.

Jeanne Sparrow


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