Sent to you by moya via Google Reader:
this is what I am reading now - an article linked from Questioning Transphobia's 101 - and I am going to follow these steps as best I can, and will most certainly fuck up in the un-fucking-up process. but here goes.
When you "Fuck Up" (whether the fuck-up is minor or major) practice the "Four A's".
#1) Acknowledgment — is really important, IMO, because if you don't realize what you actually did, and how it was "fucked up", there's a high probability that you are going to do it again — a very high probability.
#2) Apology — is also really important — but it has to be genuine (which requires #1 - Acknowledgment). Saying things like "I'm sorry if you felt bad about what I said/wrote" or "I'm sorry if your feelings got hurt", is, IMO, completely different from saying "I'm sorry that I said/wrote that. I see how it was fucked up, and here's how I know that it was fucked up … . . ". (Keep in mind that "if" is a word reserved for hypotheticals, and doesn't usually refer to real life. When used in apology, "if" is usually just a dilutive, and if you can't really apologize, then don't apologize at all. Sort of a perverse Thumper ethic.)
#3) Amends — sometimes the energy required to actually think about how you fucked up and make an honest acknowledgment/apology is enough to return balance to the situation (depends on the type of fuck up, though). In some cases, "making amends" might also mean returning money/energy/time that your fuck-up created for someone else. This can be returned in any of a number of creative ways. Example: If you got all defensive in an argument, and therefore the argument took eight hours instead of 30 minutes… consider just giving the person with whom you got all defensive eight hours of your time to do for them something that they might have gotten done if you hadn't been all uppity-up in yourself being a defensive shit (not that I've ever done that … .no, that has never happened with me… . . OK, maybe just that once … OK — Fuck it! I'm completely busted here … .)
#4) Action — This may be the most important of the 4 A's. If you know that you did something that was fucked up, and you've expressed that you're genuinely sorry that you did this fucked up thing, then really, the only concrete evidence of this will be that you will change what you do in the future. For me, if I don't take this step (action), the other three are just so much manipulation.
I need to be clear on what I'm acknowledging, and honest about the consequences. so right now I'm going to go read what people wrote on the reblogs of my furious, prescriptive, poorly-thought-out, mess of a last post, and think about them, and then proceed using this model.