Apologies: we love them and we hate them. They make us feel better…sometimes. Sometimes, they don’t but they make us feel like we can’t really be angry anymore or hurt because the person is sorry. Sometimes, they don’t feel genuine. Sometimes, they’re not. Sometimes we offer them when we don’t really mean it, right? Sometimes, an offense feels like no amount of sorrow could offer any reprieve. Sometimes, we don’t want to say we’re sorry out of fear of being misunderstood, overlooked, or enabling. Sometimes we don’t want to say it because we don’t think we are sorry…or because apologizing would mean admitting we did something wrong. Hell, sometimes we mean to cause harm. Did you ever sit back and really think about how complicated an apology can be?
An apology is complicated…for the one giving it and the one receiving it. When delivered effectively, it can mean the difference between the end of a relationship or a stronger one.
It’s our inclination to be defensive. Someone accuses us of hurting them and we get so hell bent on proving that it wasn’t our intention that we forget they’re hurting. We want to make the hurting stop so we try and change their minds about how they interpreted things. We want the shame of being wrong or rude or inconsiderate to go away and it can’t until they understand why we did it. They MUST understand where WE are coming from! The thing is, there’s nothing wrong with some clarification, especially when someone is completely off base about your intentions, but here are some tips to make your apology worthwhile and impressive.
the Flourish Blog
Learn more about our therapists and topics in mental health and wellness!