destigmatize - verb
: to remove shame or disgrace from
We often use the term ‘destigmatize’ to illustrate how far we’ve progressed as a culture in our acceptance of social issues related to a specific group of people.
This makes sense.
Our feelings of shame and disgrace are two powerful indicators of how we perceive our social standing. Humiliation defines the former, while loss of reputation (or feeling ‘less than’) defines the latter.
If we assess our cultural acceptance based on this bar, then we have undoubtedly made drastic improvements in a lot of controversial social arenas in a very short period of time.
Now, it’s common knowledge that addiction is one of these areas of vast improvement. I mean, we are generally far more accepting and caring towards those with substance abuse issues than in the past…Right?
Sure. If by progress, you entail that one can openly talk of past alcohol issues or choose not to drink in a general group setting without feeling shame. Tho, admission of harder drugs might depend on the audience. But these are benign interactions, where the other parties go their separate ways.
Order a Coke ‘without the Jack’ on a first date? Not so fast. That awkward elephant in the room just joined you at the table and it’s ready to linger. Tell the truth…it pulls in closer. Say ‘you don’t drink’ and even the elephant gets suspicious.
In fact, spend a hot minute on my Bumble and you’ll come across ‘Swipe left if you’ve had any history of addiction…not interested’ front and center in 20% of women’s profiles. Criminal history? Irrelevant.
Yet, I get it. Addiction leaves a trail of destruction. It’s messy. And that’s a persons choice. Tho, it does illustrate the fear our society still harbors and, more importantly, how demoralizing it can be for those who are crushing it in sobriety and ready to move on.
Okay. So maybe you don’t fall into this camp or the addict is a family member you can’t just disown….and you’re saying, “I support their recovery in any way I can and will always love them!”
Well, let me ask you this. Has the REAL issue ever been with alcoholics who are clean and in recovery?
Think about that. As long as I don’t drink, no one cares if I once knocked back a Jack Daniels before breakfast. Just like no homophobic parent ever cared if their gay child dated the opposite sex.
Tho, even if family or friends suspect a relapse, all hell can break loose. Not dissimilar to that parent keeping a damn close eye on that guy their ‘formerly’ gay son’s been hanging out with.
Yet, 90% of addicts relapse in their first 4 years…making it far more the norm. In fact, it’s considered part of the process.
This number in and of itself reflects how ineffective our handling and reaction to addiction has been. And when I say ‘our’, I’m not just talking government policy. I’m talking about each and every one of us who interacts with a person struggling through the hell that is addiction…and the addict themselves. This will be discussed in future articles. For now…
To sum up our current view on this topic, I’ll leave you with two phrases I hear from family members of nearly every recovery client I work with…
“Why can’t they just put the bottle down and clean up their damn life?!”
“I’ll just lock the booze and hold their keys when they visit for the weekend. Should I have their cousin keep a close eye on them for good measure?”
Ummm. I ask you. Do those two statements reflect a progressive attitude? Or reflect an advancement in our understanding of what ‘physical’ addiction actually is?
And maybe we just got to the core of the issue right there. As long as the physical addictions of drugs and alcohol are used in the same sentence as smartphones and video games, progress can’t be made.
I’ll leave y’all with that to ponder over.
Until next time…enjoy!
While apologizing is an important social gesture that can help mend relationships and demonstrate accountability, over apologizing can have negative consequences, such as eroding one's self-esteem and creating a perception of weakness or insincerity.
In this blog post, we will explore the causes and effects of over apologizing, as well as provide tips on how to break the habit.
What is over apologizing?
Over apologizing is the act of apologizing excessively or unnecessarily. People who over apologize may apologize for things that are not their fault, or apologize repeatedly for the same mistake or issue. They may also apologize for trivial things, such as asking a question or making a request.
Causes of Over Apologizing
There are many factors that can contribute to over apologizing. Here are a few common ones:
Effects of Over Apologizing
Over apologizing can have several negative effects, both for the person who is doing the apologizing and for those around them. Here are a few examples:
How to break the habit of over apologizing
Breaking the habit of over apologizing can be challenging, but it is possible with practice and persistence. Here are a few tips to get started:
Over apologizing can have negative effects on a person's self-esteem, communication, and credibility. By understanding the underlying causes of this behavior and practicing self-awareness and self-compassion, it is possible to break the habit and communicate more effectively. Remember, apologizing is an important gesture, but it is not always necessary or appropriate. By being mindful of your language and setting healthy boundaries, you can begin use ‘I’m sorry’ to promote much healthier relations.
until next time…enjoy!
In our prior article on apologizing, we discussed if and when you should apologize. If you haven’t read that, just scroll down. Check it out first. If you’re rebellious or just like to drive in reverse, here’s a quick summary…
Only apologize for a behavior or action of yours that is not in line with your own moral standards. DO NOT apologize based solely on another person’s reaction or for personal gain.
The first article will make better sense of that, so don’t try to sneak any questions in the comments. In part three we will discuss how to handle situations in which you are ‘sorry’ for hurting the other person’s emotion, tho, you do not believe you did something wrong or are confused by the situation.
In short, never just throw out a ‘sorry’ like a Hail Mary at the end of a Football game. Sooner or later, the press will be asking about the rest of your Playbook.
Simple enough…for now? Perfect.
Now, what makes a good apology?
A good apology starts without an expectation of how you’d like the other party to react. This is not a sales job. Forgiveness is their option, not yours.
Keep it short and specific to the behavior or action that was against your moral standards. Anything beyond is self-indulgence or risks entangling the apology with other issues.
Resist the urge to justify. This is where apologies often go haywire. You’re not getting the desired reaction, so you begin throwing things out there to fill the silence and now you’re in no man’s land. Keep the improv skills to open mic.
Don’t make it bigger or smaller than it is. Got caught looking at the hot guy/girl at the pool? A ‘my bad’ might suffice. No need to waste your partner’s time going on about how “they’re perfect the way they are” or throwing out fun facts on the origin of the bikini’s name. (It’ll kill at your next party, tho)
Different story if you’ve been caught having an affair. I think you’d agree that a ‘my bad’ is plain insulting. If you’re in this situation, just call me. We have more work to do than an apology.
Only make promises you are able to reasonably keep. If this is a recurring issue, do not state it will never happen again. Instead, let the person know that this is something you will continue to work on and what they ‘can expect. If there is a specific step you will be taking to rectify the situation going forward, state it, then follow through. If not, use the ‘best I can do’ approach below.
Got the above memorized? If not, just watch every Celebrity or Influencer apology and do the opposite. (Will Smith, let it go…your ‘slap’ is old news. We’ve got Kanye wearing black masks praising a certain German dictator…so just release Bad Boys 4 and get on with it.)
In the real world, let’s keep apologies short and simple. The truth is, often the best basis for an apology is an “I f*cked up.” (“I screwed up” or “I messed up” will suffice…) That’s something we can all relate to and is a great starting point. This leads to solid apologies such as…
“I’m sorry for booking a client during our planned date night. I screwed up. Going forward I will block off our date nights in my work calendar the moment we plan it.”
“I’m sorry for cutting you off and walking away in frustration while you were in the middle of sharing your feelings last night. I acted selfishly by not wanting to confront the issue. Confrontation can be very difficult at times and am something I am actively working on. The best I can do is to acknowledge when I avoid it and be more vocal how I’d prefer to be approached when a situation arises.”
The former is simple and to the point. Mistake is yours, so own it. The second is a bit more complex because there is an underlying issue as to why the behavior is occurring. However, that underlying issue is to be discussed at a later point. This is why I prefer the ‘best I can do’ approach.
The reason being is that the underlying issue may involve how the other person reacts to your responses, personal issues unrelated to that person, or a lot of unknowns that need deeper discussion.
Handle the apology first. Give the person space to respond or not. Then at a later time ask to discuss the underlying issues associated. Space is healthy. Entangling an apology with more complex, emotional issues in that relationship is akin to lighting a match at the gas station.
I think that about sums it up for this post. Now go practice some of your own apologies and see what you come up with. Till next time…enjoy!
Jeff Hanson, Founder