Grown-ups don’t have rows. Sure they argue, they disagree, they
debate. They express their feelings and say when they’re hurt or
angry or upset. But they don’t have the kind of rows that require an
apology to get over them.
Oh, alright then, we do. But that doesn’t make it right. From time
to time we forget to do the, ‘When you say … I feel …’ thing we all
know we should, and we behave childishly instead. Don’t worry, we
all do it. I expect they started it anyway.
The big question is, having fallen out with the person we love,
which isn’t what we wanted to do of course, what are we going to
do about it? And the answer – as you may have guessed from the
title of this Rule – is to say sorry. And to say it even before they do.
How do you feel about saying sorry? Can’t see why you should?
Or do you feel you’ve lost face, been humiliated, had to swallow
your pride? Well don’t. You’re a Rules Player and you’re big and
strong and confident and self-assured enough to do it. I’m not
asking you to say sorry publicly in front of 500 people after all.
This is just a private apology to your very nearest and dearest.
You can manage that.
And what are you apologizing for? Isn’t it hypocritical to say sorry
when you truly feel you were in the right? No it isn’t because that’s
not what you’re saying sorry for. You’re saying sorry for allowing a
perfectly valid discussion about a difference of views to degenerate
to this point. It takes two to argue and you’re apologizing for being
so childish as to let it happen, and for all the mistakes you must
have made to reach that point.
T H E R U L E S O F L O V E
Be the first to say
R E L A T I O N S H I P R U L E S
Someone has to be first to acknowledge that childishness has gone
on, and as you’re a Rules Player it will have to be you. If your part-
ner is a Rules Player too, you’ll have to get a move on if you’re
going to beat them to it. You have to prove that at least one of you
can be magnanimous, generous, open, conciliatory and grown-up.
And with luck they’ll respond by showing you that they can be all
those things too. They just needed you to remind them.
Whatever it was you fell out over – which may or may not still need
resolving once everyone has calmed down – making up and being
friends again has got to be better than sulking or stropping was.
You both got yourselves into this pickle and it will take both of you
to get yourselves out.
Remember, you’re apologizing for allowing things to get overheated
and out of hand. You’re not apologizing for your original opinion or
action. Unless, of course, you were actually out of order there as
well. In which case you will indeed apologize for that too.
YOU’RE APOLOGIZING FOR
BEING CHILDISH AND
FOR ALL THE RULES
YOU CLEARLY FORGOT
IN ORDER TO GET TO