My sweet man and I have quite the discussions as we try to figure out life and relationships and everything in between. Our most recent has been about folks’ willingness (or not) to truly apologize. We think we figured out that you can tell an awful lot about someone’s character by their willingness to be humble enough to do what it takes to make things right.
“Apologizing does not always mean you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego.”Mark Matthews
I do believe that there are several factors that make an apology authentic. In my home growing up, I’m not sure I ever heard anyone genuinely apologize for anything. Ever. I heard things like, “I’m sorry that you feel upset.” Nope. Doesn’t count.
“An apology given just to appease one’s conscience is self-serving and better left unspoken!”Evinda Lepins
And I also personally think that the humility required to make a true apology includes the words, “Please forgive me.” Those are hard to utter! I have found myself fighting my inner self each time I choose a person over my own pride. Asking forgiveness means you are willing to acknowledge the impact your actions or words had to damage, and that you’re willing to do whatever it takes for healing. It comes down to what you value more.
Do you know people who don’t apologize? You know that they know that they were hurtful, but they just aren’t the kind of person that says those words. What do you think is the root of that? We can’t blame our examples our whole lives. Saying I’m sorry is something we all learned as children and choose whether or not to use in our relationships.
A meaningful apology is one that communicates three R’s: regret, responsibility, and remedy.Beverley Engel
And an apology means nothing if it ends up being just words. Action (remedy) is the greatest proof of a change, is it not? My sweet man and I had quite the experience with a public apology when we began our marriage and experienced a complete and total change of path when we took what was public knowledge of our lives and set it on a new path — taking away its power over us. Story here…
I have seen people who don’t typically apologize find the restorative power of genuine forgiveness and healing when they decided to let their guard down enough to let humility in and acknowledge their bad behavior/words. It’s an absolutely beautiful thing, and can save a relationship.
What do you think? Do you have folks in your life that just don’t say that they are sorry? Are you one? What do you think that speaks to? Do you think it’s possible to change this?
Have you been in the position to forgive knowing you’ll never get an apology? I have found myself here too many times, and still found the process of forgiving anyway to be very healing. It’s about letting go and being willing to move on from the yuck that builds when we stay stuck in it.
Please share your thoughts. I’m so intrigued by your stories and experiences, and I do think this is an area we can change no matter how far along the path we find ourselves.
“Saying ‘I’m sorry’ is saying ‘I love you’ with a wounded heart in one hand and your smothered pride in the other.Richelle E. Goodrich