News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™      


Joy, Love, and Peace in 2016

Attitiude Reconstruction  


February 2016                                                      Apologizing

Mark your calendar! 11 days from today! Jude's giving her
2 day workshop on Attitude Reconstruction February 26-27, 2016 in lovely Santa Barbara.

You'll have the opportunity to focus on a pesky, destructive habit of yours, and in a light and fun setting, learn all about the 5 tools to make the changes you desire.


Jude Bijou
Jude Bijou MA MFT is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and workshop leader. Her multi award- winning book is a practical and spiritual handbook to help you create the life you desire.  
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I will also be giving a full two-day workshop on Attitude Reconstruction in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on October 22 - 23 2016. It's called Attitude Reconstruction: Build Joy, Love, and Peace. Sign up It's an amazing conversion rate from US to Canadian dollars.       
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Here's an email I received from Sandy Fowler, a gal who is committed to helping kids and their parents be the best they can be.She is referring to this post -- Soothing your sadness.

Such a beau
tiful post about being there for your child. Whether they're 5, 15 or 25, our kids need to know we'll be there to love and support them no matter what and without freaking out. I have a crystal clear memory of the day my daughter told me she was having a serious problem and the reason I remember it so clearly isn't because of the problem; it's because of the expression on her face when she looked at me and said, "You aren't freaking out". So read, remember, and practice. And if you want help learning to manage your own emotions in a healthy way, grab Jude Bijou's book Attitude Reconstruction. It's simply incredible.

Check out the helpful content on the Attitude Reconstruction Website


Consider purchasing
Keys to a Good Life, a book that includes a collection of articles, including one by yours truly. It is now available for purchase through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. and is the perfect way to find wisdom to unlock your power within.



"And the next thing I knew, I was kissing her, and two of her friends. I think one was a dude, then we all did Ecstasy, rented a limo, and went to Vegas--but I swear that's all that happened."


Scott Metzger

Dearest Friends,

I trust you're making the most out of winter. Here in Santa Barbara we're being "treated" to a week of 80 degree weather. Even though it's divine, we'd rather be experiencing El Nino's rain.

This month I thought I'd cover the topic of the Apology since none of us are perfect and we all do things we wish we hadn't. An apology is a handy tool to express "one's regret, remorse, or sorrow for having insulted, failed, injured, or wronged another person." But first...

Interesting Articles
These three articles caught my attention this month.

       First, after all these years Barbie has some more normal proportions.

       Second, here's an article that explains how the busiest people in the world can read 100 books a year.

       Third, for all your hip travelers, here are the 8 coolest micro-neighborhoods in major cities around the world. In North America that means Los Angeles, Toronto,
Chicago, and Miami. Other locations covered are Melbourne, Tokyo, Istanbul, Tel Aviv, and London. (Wait a minute, that's nine!)
Apology Videos

Here are some classic humorous (or weird) apologies that illustrate what doesn't work.

Next, a clip from the movie, A Fish called Wanda
And last, Paula Dean's.

It seems like all three could take heed of Attitude Reconstruction's tips, which are conveniently offered below!

Do you need to read this right now because something went terribly wrong yesterday? 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.

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

The Price We Pay 

What is the cost for not apologizing?

What's the upside of an apology? We let go and move on without baggage. It fosters closeness, understanding, honest communication and good feelings as well as strengthens our relationships. We can let go and move on without baggage. We join the human race as a fallible beings. We release any feelings of guilt or shame.

And what's the downside to 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.

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."

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 where 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 to 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. (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 and have anything to apologize for.
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