What should you do to redress your actions when you misrepresent someone or use words or actions in a public situation that are inappropriate or not the best choice and paint someone in a false light?
Over the last few weeks I have had a few situations where, whilst I intended to act with grace and goodwill, my actions haven't exactly matched my intentions.
One example you may be aware of, as readers of my thoughts, is the first draft of my last post on humour. I thought I had been careful in my wording and I thought that it represented what I wanted to say so I pressed the publish button.
When I read it the next day I realised that the angle I had taken didn't support the point I was wanting to make, and worse, it grossly misrepresented my husband as someone quite opposed to his true character. I felt a tremendous pang of anxiety and guilt when I realised the impact of this public misrepresentation but it was too late, it was out there, what do I do next?
I have been able to edit the post so the damage has been limited to those of you early birds who devour my words hot off the press. I have also been able to apologise to Sam, who, being the wonderful person that he is, listened carefully and was able to help me to see the experience as part of the learning curve. My question is, what characteristics do I need to develop to allow me to continue communicating in a public arena but without misrepresenting others or hanging out the dirty laundry? I believe it is important to be honest, vulnerable and authentic, which is what I work hard to be, but is there a line past which honesty and vulnerability becomes offensive? Its challenging to find the boundaries because sometimes the real value comes beyond the existing line.
I am keen to hear others thoughts on this topic. It excites me to be able to share my ideas in a public space but I certainly don't want to cause misjudgement or offence through clumsy selection of words or inappropriate handling of subjects. And if I do make mistakes in the future (which I inevitably will), please, as readers, hold me to account, call me on it, it may well be that I am oblivious to the valuable lesson tapping at my door.