It’s something we’ve all experienced. Almost all of us have hurt someone we love at some point to varying degrees. It always impresses me when someone is willing to take responsibility for their role. It’s the first step. It is not always easy to apologize.
The following are some things you should keep in mind:
Apologies Are Probably Powerful Beliefs
Think about how your family dealt with mistakes and forgiveness during your childhood. How does your family apologize? It may feel scary and uncomfortable to admit you were wrong if apologizing is new to you. Explore your hesitations and fears.
Your Intention Counts
Consider why you are apologizing before you apologize. Why do you wish to apologize? What’s the motive? Are you trying to keep the peace, or are you apologizing?
Timing Is Important
People may not want to hear your apology immediately when hurt. Sometimes, we are driven by guilt or fear of losing someone, misaligning our timing with their need for space. The “perfect” time may not exist, but forcing someone to listen to you before they are ready can feel more like an ambush than an apology.
Apologies Do Not Work Like Magic
The apology doesn’t mean things will be back to normal. Getting the relationship back to normal will take time. It can help build relationships, or you may be able to part ways amicably. Be realistic and don’t pressure people to “get back to normal” right away.
Don’t Ask For Forgiveness.
A sincere apology does not mean the person will forgive you. Everyone hopes they will, but we aren’t entitled to forgiveness. It is our responsibility and reflects who we are as people to apologize. Apologies can’t include expectations.