News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™      


Joy, Love, and Peace for 2019

Attitiude Reconstruction                                     

This years Children's Parade                                                      All fiesta photos by Fritz Olenberger

August 2019                                        The Apology 

I am pleased to announce the reprinting (and slightly edited)
version of Attitude Reconstruction. It includes a revised "action" chapter, full Blueprints on the inside front and back cover, and little futzes here and there. Available, signed, sealed, and delivered for only $15.00 (includes tax.).  
To buy yours at this price, send me an email at: jude@attitudereconstruction.com 
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Praise for the newsletter.
Your latest newsletter was a work of art and magic. It had my attention for many hours and so inspired me.  The Three Bridges has given me a guide to move along in my journey of joy, peace, health, happiness, love, and faith.







"I need something that that says, "I'm sorry about the thing I said that caused you to totally overreact."

Greetings dear ones,   
          In Santa Barbara we know it's August because it's time for Fiesta -- complete with horses, parades, families, food, beer, and a good time for all. Organizers plan every bit of the five-day event down to the smallest detail. It's a lovely tradition!
          It seemed appropriate to go over the fundamentals of how to make a tidy and effective apology. It's so much better to admit your made a mistake, rather than going into denial or feeling bad about what you said or did. Plus it is lovely to receive a genuine apology, rather than wondering.... 

          Spirit of Fiesta Sophia Cordero and Junior Spirit Paloma Valenzuela               

A Few Articles and Stuff of Interest    
This month I'm highlighting Scott Metzger's humorous cards. You can check out his facebook page for his latest cartoons. This neat article in Board Panda includes a ton of his funnys.
Good news.  Here a study that shows the link between dark chocolate and depression.  
Eleven graceful ways to end a conversation.
Fiesta activities includes an annual cruiser ride through town
10 truly ingenious television commercials.
Here's an amazing gymnastic feat. Simone Biles doing a triple-double flip.
Ellen finds that things don't go right all the time.
All black & white cartoons "borrowed" from Cartoonbank.      


         Whether it's your parent, coworker, child, lover, or friend, we all sometimes say and do things we regret. We fret, get defensive, make excuses, and rationalize that what we did wasn't so bad. Or we simply put the blunder out of our mind hoping it went unnoticed. "It's no big deal." "Anybody could make that mistake." "Who would remember?" These are all stall tactics we resort to because we don't want to experience the discomfort associated with an apology.

          Why? Pride. Self-righteousness. Embarrassment. It is hard to admit that we're human and fallible. Owning up to the fact that we said or did something we know was hurtful can put a dent in our self-esteem.

          Why else are we reluctant to apologize? We avoid experiencing uncomfortable emotions. Maybe we will squirm, afraid that others will see we're not perfect. Maybe we adapt an attitude of righteous anger, and blame the other person or situation. Perhaps we are mortified at our own behavior and feel ashamed, turning that sadness inward, and becoming preoccupied with reconfirming our inadequacy or unworthiness. 

           Time passes, the remorse drops off, the nagging regret subsides, and it feels too hard to go back and revisit our blunder. We just hope it will fade away. The bottom line is, we are not taking personal responsibility for ourselves - for our words and actions.

 The Power of an Apology -- Or Not

           What is the upside of a genuine apology? What is the cost of not apologizing?
          The upside is that we let go and move on without baggage. Expressing our heartfelt regret fosters closeness, understanding, honest communication and good feelings as well as strengthening our relationships. We join the human race as  fallible beings. We release any feelings of guilt or shame.
          And what's the downside for not apologizing? Little by little, not fixing our wrongs becomes a pattern. In our relationships it destroys trust, openness, and true closeness. We carry this secret burden and it nags at us. Others feel our distance or that things don't seem quite right. 
How to Make an Apology

          You are speaking up so you feel better, not to elicit a response in kind from the wronged party.

          There are two parts to a successful apology. One is to speak up sincerely about your mistake. The second is to listen with empathy and compassion to hear the effect it had on the other person or persons.

          In terms of speaking up, it's best to take a few minutes to think through and get clear on what you want to say. Pinpoint the thing you are addressing; a specific event or comment. For example - it's not "I was a jerk last night." But, "I feel awful about a comment I made to you last night." Stick with your own part. Search for what is true for you about the situation. Don't finger point and talk about what they did.

          It helps to write down what you want to say to get clear on your communication. Determine your part and focus exclusively on that, even if you feel like they did something wrong. Own your own 50%. After you share information about you, ask if there is something you can do to remedy the situation.

          You can make a guess and voice what you think the effect
your word or deed had on the other person. Talk about what you learned. For example, "I'm sorry I didn't call you beforehand to let you know I wasn't going to make it to meet you at the movies. I wouldn't have liked it if you had done that to me." Or, "I'm sorry I raised my voice when we were discussing paying the bills this afternoon. I regret I let my frustration get the best of me. It wasn't helpful."

          After you have shared about yourself, ask if there is something you can do to remedy the situation.
The Delivery and the Rewards

          Pick a moment when you can get their undivided attention. I usually start with a preface to set the stage. "This is hard for me. I'm try to learn something new and it's not easy, but there is something I need to say about our conversation yesterday."

          Don't allow the recipient to brush off your apology or downplay it. You may need to repeat it two or three times until you feel like it is genuinely received.

          After you've finished and expressed your regret, your job becomes to listen to the other person talk about how your actions affected them. That means you don't defend yourself and make excuses. Say something along the lines of "I want to understand." Just listen to the repercussions your words or actions had on them. Don't interrupt, justify or minimize your actions, or try to correct their perceptions. This is the time to walk in their shoes. You can ask them something like "What did you feel about what happened?" And after you listen well, acknowledge the other person. "I hear what you're saying and I'm truly sorry."

         It's never too late to offer an apology when you know you were not acting in line with your best self. If apologizing is difficult for you, before you make your communication, support yourself by repeating such statements as "I did the best I could at the time." " We all make mistakes. Life is for learning." Or, "If I knew then what I know now, I would have done it differently. "

          Your willingness to apologize shows your strength and desire to stay connected and to clear the air so you aren't carrying around unfinished business. Once the interaction is complete be sure to lavishly appreciate yourself for taking personal responsibility for your words and actions. And feel the love!
Hey Jude!  
I say such terrible things when I'm angry. I just can't seem to help it. Afterwards I'll apologize but I can see my partner still feels hurt.

          This bad habit calls for a communication make-over. Saying mean words is a love killer. Instead, right out of the gate, when you become aware of the physical warning signs of an impending outburst, do something different. (Some physical signals -- heat rising on the back of your neck, a pounding heart, breaking into a sweat.) Immediately take a break.

          Before you bring out the heavy artillery, say something along the lines of, "I don't want to blow up and say something I'll regret, so I'm going to take a few minutes." Express your anger physically and/or power on accepting what bugs you. When you feel more centered, you can locate the specific thing that set you off and find your "I" -- what's true for you -- about the topic.

          Return, deliver what you have to say with kindness and a smile and watch possibilities unfold before your eyes. Follow these instructions when you next start to escalate, and you won't inflict damage or have anything to apologize for.
In addition to apologizing when you know you've said or done something you regret, I hope you are remembering to extend a bridge when you come across someone who is in the grip of his of their sadness, anger, or fear. In both cases you'll be glad you did, because it brings others back to planet earth and increases feelings of connection.  
Thanks for readin g this newsletter. If you have any feedback, suggestions about a newsletter theme, or general comments, I enjoy hearing from you, so feel free to write me at:
                           With love,