…peacemaking efforts such as apologies, offers of compensation and owning up to one’s responsibility increase forgiveness — and reduce anger — by making the aggressor seem more valuable as a relationship partner and by causing the victim to feel less at risk of getting hurt again by the transgressor.
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“All of the things that people are motivated to do when they have harmed someone they care about really do appear to be effective at helping victims forgive and get over their anger,” says Michael McCullough, professor of psychology in the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences and principal investigator of the study. “People often think that evolution designed people to be mean, violent, and selfish, but humans need relationship partners, so natural selection probably also gave us tools to help us restore important relationships after they have been damaged by conflict.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: How does your protagonist repair relationships that he or she has disrupted? Write a scene with an apology. Write a scene with an act of restitution.

Journaling Prompt: How easy is it for you to apologize? How easy is it for you to forgive?

Art Prompt: Apology

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Inform your audience about the components of an effective apology.

Photo Credit: me and the sysop on Flickr

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