As Sir Fred Goodwin comes out of his forced hibernation clutching a white flag (along with a cheque for £4m of his pension pot), we look at how to redeem your reputation after you’ve been a bit naughty.
Get your apology right.
Apologising for your actions is a sure fire way to get you back on track to popularity (or at least get the News of the World off your back). Take a deep breath, hold your hands up and say sorry. And make sure you mean it. For a glaring example of how not to apologise, watch Alan Partridge dig himself into an even deeper hole, as he offends farmers everywhere.
Hold on to your real friends.
Presuming you’ve got any left after your dreadful misdeeds, good friends will defend your honour and act as unofficial public relations when the rest of the planet wants to lynch you. In Flight of the Conchords, Bret, Jermaine and Murray sing about the many benefits of having chums.
Learn to put others first.
While it may be your overriding compulsion to eat all the biscuits/ jump the queue/ accept a huge pension, everyone will hate you for it. The first step in redeeming yourself is to start considering the needs and feelings of others. See how in Rainbow, Zippy upsets Bungle by being extraordinarily selfish. And no one liked Zippy, not even Jeffrey.
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