What shouldn't you do when you apologize? Why? Continue the list
— be impatient;
— try to laugh your fault away;
— avert your face;
— mumble something unintelligible;
— behave impudently;
— press recriminations;
Answer the questions
1) What is the root of most conflicts? Why?
2) What is an apology?
3) Why do people who have been offended or humiliated hope for an apology?
How would you apologize in the following situations? Prepare a short speech. Remember that you should sound convincing and sincere. The words in brackets may help you.
(Excuse me, I beg you pardon, I apologize, I'm sorry, I didn't want to offend you, it will never happen again, I assure you, I understand your feelings but ..,, I awfully regret, I hope you will be able to forgive me, it was a terrible mistake, it is my fault, I just lost control, I was wrong, I can't forgive myself, can we forget about this unpleasant incident)
L You have broken your sister's favourite cup and decided to hide the fragments and to say nothing to her. But she has found out the truth and has taken offence.
L You've made an appointment with your colieague and you have clean forgotten it. He feels irritated as he has cancelled another important meeting because of you.
L You have forgotten about your friend's birthday. You haven't congratulated him and now you don't know how to explain it so that not to make things worse.
L Two days ago you made fun of your boss and called him a fool and a tyrant. Somebody must have told him about it as he is very angry with you and cavils at every trifle. You feel very ashamed and uncomfortable.
L You have come home rather tired and you have shouted at your little son. Now he is crying bitterly and you feel stupid and mad at yourself.
Recall the situation when you had to apologize to somebody. Describe it in detail. Say if this person accepted your apology. Analyze the mistakes you might have made. Describe your feelings.
Read the quotations below. Can you agree with them? Choose one of the statements and comment on it.
ü 'A stiff apology is a second insult... The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.' (Gilbert K. Chesterton)
ü 'Apology is only egotism wrong side out.' (Oliver Wendell Holmes)
ü 'It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them.' (P. G. Wodehouse)
ü 'To apologize is to lay the foundation for a future offense.' (Ambrose Bierce)
Read the following piece of poetry by William Blake and say what you think of it.
Restore the text using the necessary auxiliary verbs.
Forgive and Forget
I get on fairly well with my parents. However, last night we had one of (1) ___ worst quarrels we've had for years! It was my brother (2) ___ started the trouble. He asked me if he (3) ___ borrow my Walkman and when I refused he just went into my bedroom and took it. When I complained to Mum, she told (4) ___ not to be so childish. She said I ought to be a bit (5) ____ generous!
I was annoyed but I didn't say any more. I went upstairs to finish my homework, (6) ___ I thought would take about an hour. After that, I planned to go out. My friends had suggested (7) ___ to a disco and I had agreed to meet (8) ___ there. The disco is quite a long way away so I knew I would be at home (9) ___ than usual. I thought I (10) ___ better ask Dad if that would be okay. He usually (11) ___ me do what I want, because he knows I'm not as irresponsible (12) ___ my brother. But this time he refused (13) ___ allow me to go out alone. He wanted me to go to the disco with my brother! He said that (14) ___ I agreed to go with him, I couldn't go at all! We had a terrible argument. The (15) ___ I protested, the angrier he became. In the end, he ordered me to go to my bedroom, (16) ___ I spent a very boring evening. I have not forgiven my brother yet!
IV. STRESS versus humor
There are hundreds of definitions of stress but even the highest medical authorities don't know what it really means. Give your own definition of stress. Read the text 'Stress and How to Cope Well With It' and think if stress can be called the disease of modern society.
Stress and How to Cope Well With It
Nowadays many people say that they are tired of their hectic lifestyle. They work too much and stop taking breaks. They forget about everything striving for their goals and they constantly raise the bar. Very often they don't find personal satisfaction in their work and don't love what they do. They have no sense of personal accomplishment and self-satisfaction. Some people don't feel content even when they achieve their goal. On the contrary, they feel disillusioned and dissatisfied. Having climbed the ladder of success they find nothing worthwhile on the top. Constant-fatigue, physical and moral exhaustion, monotony and impossible pressure at work and at home can cause stress.
Stress is the emotional and physical strain caused by people's response to pressure from the outside world. Stress causes tension, irritability, anxiety, alarm, loss of concentration, sensations of fear and panic as well as headaches and a fast heartbeat. It can result in a real breakdown of health. Stress can even cause heart disease and cancer.
There are a lot of stressful events in our lives, such as divorce, losing a job or having difficulties at home or at work. But changes for the better can also cause stress, like a new baby, a wedding, and a new house. Pupils and students often face stress from problems at school, poor relationships with peers, strict and demanding teachers, exams and many other problems.
Feeling stressed many people try to find some distraction and to escape their problems. They begin overeating, smoking, drinking, and even taking drugs. But junk food, cigarettes, sleeping pills and alcohol don't help. On the contrary, they make things much worse and more difficult to patch up.
Stress can have a negative influence not only on our physical and mental health, but on the lives of those around us. It often makes us lose control and shout at our spouses, relatives, friends or colleagues. Taking stress out on our nearest and dearest is the easiest way to hurt their feelings and to make them feel depressed too.
People react to stress in different ways. Some of us are more vulnerable to stress than others. People who are always angry, impatient and mistrustful may have more stress-related physical problems.
It is very important to try to avoid stress or at least to minimize it. That's why it is essential to notice early signs of stress and to remove some of its causes. If you catch the trouble early, the problem may be easy to fix.
One of the best ways to cope with stress is to keep a sense of humor in difficult situations. Wise people say that laughter is the best medicine for all diseases. It increases blood flow and it may reduce the risk of heart disease. Besides, laughter makes the body release pleasure chemicals.
Regular leisure activities and relaxing hobbies are also very important in reducing stress. If you feel depressed, yoga, swimming, bicycling, painting or gardening can help you relax, calm down and get a new lease on life. Anti-anxiety medications and anti-depressants can be useful for dealing with short periods of acute stress. But the side effects of such medications can be rather dangerous, that's why they must never be taken as often as vitamins. Besides, anti-anxiety medications and anti-depressants cause addiction and may lead to suicides.
Forget about your problems. Take a day off work, domestic chores and family. Work regular hours and don't forget to take breaks and holidays. Don't expect too much of yourself and don't try to aim higher than your capacity. Have a balance in life. Walk away from stressful situations and be positive and enthusiastic. In other words 'don't worry, be happy.'
Tasks to the text
1. Complete each sentence (A-H) with one of the endings (1-8):
A. Stress is the emotional and physical strain caused by
B. Stress causes
C. Feeling stressed many people try to find
D. Stress often makes us
E. People who are always angry, impatient and mistrustful
F. One of the best ways to cope with stress is
G. Regular leisure activities and relaxing hobbies
H. Anti-anxiety medications and anti-depressants can be useful for
1. some distraction and to escape their problems.
2. to keep a sense of humor in difficult situations.
3. tension, irritability, anxiety, alarm, loss of concentration, sensations of fear and panic as well as headaches and a fast heartbeat.
4. are also very important in reducing stress.
5. people's response to pressure from the outside world.
6. lose control and shout at our spouses, relatives, friends or colleagues.
7. dealing with short periods of acute stress.
8. may have more stress-related physical problems.
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