Phone use when with your spouse and children

PHONE use should be discouraged when you are with your loved one. Try having moments for interactions with your spouse without your phones, and see how that helps you both to forge the bonds of love and make them stronger. It is likely you are better able to have heartfelt conversations devoid of distractions.

Can your mate access your phone? That’s a sensitive matter to some people, but it does help a relationship when spouses can freely access each other’s devices and know that there is nothing to hide.

When with your children

Much the same applies to the use of phones when with your children. They deserve your attention, and you do have to set the pattern for them to follow. For one thing, children learn from example, so if they notice that even when you are on your phone and they come to you, you readily put your phone aside, you communicate to them the importance of your relationship with them over the device.

For another thing, that teaches them to do the same. When you need their attention, they know to put their devices away. This also helps them build better relationships with others and not let the use of their device interfere.

In summary, be nice and friendly when you take or make a call. Smile! It helps you relieve stress, and it passes a message across to your listener. Also, be quick about introducing yourself when you make a call or take one (albeit the onus is more on the caller to do this). When with friends or family, remember to as much as possible keep the phone away – enjoy your time with them.

When at work or at meetings, set your phone in a way that won’t disturb others and show you off as disengaged or distracted. You may put your phone on the flight mode if you do not want messages or calls coming in during the meeting, or you may simply set the phone on a silent mode. By doing these, you reflect a knowledge of proper phone etiquette applicable to various settings, and you become more endeared to the people you love and those you work with.

 Stop saying ‘I’m sorry’

There are also other expressions we can use when we do need to sincerely apologise for something we did wrong. Rather than simply saying ‘sorry’, consider in this episode other expressions that will serve the purpose.

What can you say when you need to apologise in an elegant, posh, and sophisticated manner? I’ve got you covered. Feel free to use the following tips (adapt them to suit your peculiar circumstances) and see how it turns out!

I really hope you can find it within you/your heart to forgive me for this.

This expression is powerful because it can pierce through (in a positive way) to the heart of the offended person. They’re not bad persons, so they must try to forgive!

It won’t happen again. I promise.

Use this when you have tendered your apology. It serves to wrap up your apology in a calm and soothing way that should touch the heart of your listener.

I messed up when I did that. I shouldn’t have.

This is a double stroke apology that when used together has a lasting effect on your listener. You show your vulnerability and sincerity in saying you are sorry. Be sure to mean it!

If you wanted to sound so posh while delivering your apology, then go ahead and say this:

I’m ever so sorry to have done a thing like this (name the thing).

This gets your listener relating to the depth of your apology. Be sure to accompany this with the right disposition otherwise it might not matter.

Yet another way to convey your deepest apologies without necessarily sounding boring and old-fashioned is to say this:

I owe you an apology for interfering in this matter.

We like to be owed something like an apology; it makes us feel good when we sense that people who offend us are really sorry about what they have done, and we tend to forgive them once the apology is issued. What do you think?

The last one I’d like to share here is a special one because it reveals a great deal of vulnerability on your part:

It was wrong/so wrong of me to have assumed this position and gone ahead to make the decision without seeking your input. It was not my intention to be presumptuous. I hope I can be forgiven.

This expression, coupled with sincerity of purpose and intention, certainly paves the way for forgiveness to be issued!

With this, you can be sure to hear: ‘Go and sin no more!’

*Dr. Oji is a Senior Lecturer of English at the Institute of Humanities, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos

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