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I need help figuring out the most responsible action I should proceed with for my current situation. We were done with work and just passing time because we weren't allowed to leave for another 30 minutes. One of my colleagues left her phone on the table and another colleague wanted to see if he could guess her password. He tried several guess and he asked me for a guess. I guess a four digit number once and it locked her phone for 60 seconds. When she came back and saw her phone was locked, she got really angry at me. I get she has every right to be. I should have just told him I don't want to guess because I don't really care. Even if I did guess right, there is no way I would open any app because that is a total invasion of privacy. So I apologize to her and explain it, but she just starts cursing at me and crying. I really want to make it up to her and make sure we don't become enemies because I see her at work everyday & I know I am at fault. I feel really bad. If I had a time machine and could go back and fix this, I would. I tried to calm her when she was crying, but she threw a scissor at me. Before I knew it, it was time to leave work...So I left for the day. I really hate to see her angry or sad, but I don't know what to do to make it better. I see her again tomorrow don't know if I should try talking to her (because she probably cooled off by then) or is it better if I just stay away from her (incase she is still angry)?

  • What is the most mature and nice way to resolve this?
    • Should I even do anything and just give her time to get over it?

I really screwed up, bit time!

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Write her a note in which you say what you said here, that you were wrong to go along with the game and you wish you hadn't. Ask her to forgive you. Then on the way to work buy something you know she likes - coffee, a brownie, some sort of treat. Take the treat and the note to her desk first thing and say "I just wanted to apologize again for my bad behaviour yesterday" and give them to her.

Chances are she would forgive you over time anyway, but by making a relatively formal apology you should be able to speed up the process. Ideally she would also apologize for swearing at you and throwing something at you, but I wouldn't ask for that.

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    You're in a better position to judge than I am, Kate, but I think he'll be damned lucky if he gets off that easily. Then again, I'm sometimes an intensely private person. – keshlam Oct 28 '15 at 0:22
  • you may be right, @keshlam, but he didn't actually get into her phone, so there was no harm done and he has quickly and unequivocally accepted it was the wrong thing to do. An adult would eventually forgive that. – Kate Gregory Oct 28 '15 at 0:25
  • Eventually, probably. As I said in my answer, it may be a while. – keshlam Oct 28 '15 at 23:44
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The most mature thing to do, I'm afraid, is to play it by ear, pay attention, and let her indicate when, if ever, she's willing to hear an apology. If she doesn't want to talk to you, don't push it.

If she's willing to hear it, admit to having been an idiot for invading her privacy -- which is precisely what you did -- and apologise for not having realized that sooner, and leave it at that. And mean it. There is no explanation or excuse which makes this better.

Then get out of the way and leave her alone until she's willing to talk to you. It may be a while.

Take your lumps and learn the lesson. You don't walk into someone's house without permission, even if you know where the key is. You certainly don't go snooping around on their property looking for the key. You would't go pawing through the contents of her purse. For many folks, their phone contents are just as private, whether there's anything embarrasing there or not. Learn to respect that.

  • It sees flawed to some. It's going to be absolutely right for others. For a few, it doesn't go far enough. That's the point: learn to anticipate the possible consequences of actions, not just the ones most probable. Your reaction doesn't matter; hers does. – keshlam Oct 28 '15 at 12:41
  • It seems I read the OP wrong, the original guesser had no permission either. You are absolutely right in that case. – nvoigt Oct 28 '15 at 19:51

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