Amy Poehler Apologies

I was reading a memoir by Amy Poehler and was moved by her chapter about apologies. The entire chapter just an apology written ‘from the head’ followed by one written ‘from the heart’. I found the contrast very powerful and wanted to share them here. To me, it exemplifies how the words you say, and the words you don’t say, can make a huge difference in whether they are heard in the way you intend.

Apology letter from The Brain

Hey there. I’m sorry, but can I say something? Look, I admit, I wasn’t perfect. No one is perfect. That’s a fact. Speaking of facts, don’t you think we all need to take a minute and decide who is right and who is wrong? Every side is different; it’s just that my side seems more right. I am not just saying that because it is my side. I think a lot of other people would agree with me if given the chance. If I upset you in some way, please know that wasn’t my intention. I didn’t know how sensitive you were. Its obvious I can set you off very easily. That’s not an insult. It’s just an observation. I think it would help if we talked about this more and argued about who was telling the truth. I would like to see you in person and tell you how this situation has affected me. I may use this opportunity to bring up other times you have hurt me in the past. If possible, I would like to hurt you back. Either way, I want to be in control. Until then, take care, and please, remember I reached out first.

I remain,
The Brain

Apology letter from The Heart

Hey there – I’m sorry. I found it hard to tell you this, and I realize my apology may be too little or come too late. It is important for me to let you know that I am sorry for what I did (or said or didn’t do or didn’t say.) I was wrong. I make mistakes. I hate that I made one with you. I am reaching out because life goes by so fast, and I just don’t want my one life to go by without expressing this to you. I want to do, and be, better.

This apology is yours. Feel free to do whatever you want with it. My hope is that it gives you comfort but my goal is that it doesn’t cause you any pain. Again, I am truly sorry. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Love, The Heart
PS I’m sorry.

From Yes Please by Amy Poehler

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