You were at a bar with friends. You were ordering a drink.
You were swaying a little from side to side. Your friend noticed and tapped you on the shoulder.
This was the last text you sent before bed. But you woke up the next day to a not-so-happy “where are you” from your friend.
You quickly sent the same thing again, apologizing and requesting a meeting the next day.
Your reply came through while you were getting a coffee, and when you read it you were able to feel your heartbreak all over again.
And even though you were feeling terrible about the whole thing, the whole thing didn’t need to happen in the first place.
So, how do you do it? What should you say? When is it appropriate to apologize?
When is it too late to say anything? And, most importantly, how should you say it?
How to apologize
Luckily, the founders of the app SwiftCareer have outlined the perfect response to all the drunk texts we sent in the past.
Here’s what they advise:
SwiftCareer will send you a timeline of any mistake you made.
As you read it, remember all the awful things you’ve done in your life.
After you put yourself back together, imagine that the first words out of your mouth are, “Sorry.”
“At that moment, don’t think of yourself as a bad person,” the founders of SwiftCareer advise.
“Think of yourself as a kind, caring person. Think of how you would want your friend or family member to behave at that moment.”
“Think of how you would want your friend or family member to behave at that moment.”
Finally, imagine how you would want your friend or family member to respond.
“Apologize immediately, and do so sincerely,” the founders say.
How to ask for forgiveness
There’s no magic number to determine when it’s too late to apologize.
No schedule to adhere to. No temperature to set.
You can apologize until the cows come home. You can apologize for days or even weeks.
It’s not about that. It’s about how you want to be treated.
You can apologize for days or even weeks. It’s not about that. It’s about how you want to be treated.
Instead of dwelling on your horrible text messaging, spend the day doing something you’ll both enjoy.
Go out to a movie, take a walk in the park, or do whatever the hell you want.
“Give yourself that time,” the founders of SwiftCareer advise. “Allow yourself to regain your balance and to see things differently.”
The irony is that when you put yourself in the moment and think about what you want, you come to this great revelation:
You want to be treated with kindness and respect.
There was a study done about the etiquette of drinking when it comes to sending a drunk text, and it revealed some interesting results.
We usually justify our bad drunk texts with ‘Well, I thought it was important, ‘I had to text her’ or ‘I was drunk so I’m sorry’ – which is completely valid.
But this is also often misconstrued as ‘I thought it was more important than you, ‘I’m the one that said it, or ‘I made the mistake’.
I’m not even saying this excuses the behavior in and of itself
We’ve all been drunk. You were too drunk to make proper decisions. You had to get it out.
Who cares if it’s three in the morning? You have to.
It’s not that I’m any better than you in this regard, it’s just the situation is different, and you can’t make me look like the best person in the world for what I did.
What I’m saying is: this is just the way it is.
There is no reason for us to feel ashamed or remorseful for something we did that we knew we were capable of, or even for what we thought we were capable of.
I’m sorry if you felt I was accusing you of not being ashamed enough. I’m not.
I’m just saying that to be comfortable in a conversation, we have to be comfortable with our own emotions and opinions.
And you’re not wrong for feeling like I was shaming you for something you knew you had the capacity to do.
But just because I knew I was capable of drunk texting doesn’t mean it’s something to feel ashamed of or embarrassed by.
What you were doing was a small part of the alcohol intake, and so what?
It’s not even worth the serious amount of discussion that this got into.
I’m not saying that if you were to walk into a cab and be served a drink that is much more obviously alcoholic than mine, then you’d have a solid argument to get away with a little more.
This is the one thing in my opinion that makes a bad drunk text, and it has nothing to do with the context or message of what you were trying to send.
So here’s the best, most delicate, and tactful way to tell a person you’re drunk and intend to do this (or that) in a text message.
And I’m only saying this because I had to learn it the hard way.
You have to convey it in the worst way you can because if you don’t, you’ll probably end up sending it. So here’s the best way to do it:
- Select a highly inappropriate time to do it.
- Feel the weight of the responsibility of conveying the message in the most subtle, respectful way.
- Befriend anyone who will listen for this moment in your life.
- Try not to be interrupted.
- Be extremely tired from the last few hours of your life.