Not long ago I said and did something that hurt someone’s feelings and I didn’t realize it until later- when I was told about it by someone else.
I felt horrible about it and began an internal dialogue with myself about how rude I felt and how hurt that person must have felt.
I knew what I had to do. I was not going to be comfortable until I apologized for my mistake and that person was possibly going to feel upset until I apologized.
As soon as I could, I apologized and told this this person my words and behavior had been unacceptable.
My apology was sincere and it wasn’t hard to own up to it because I knew I was wrong and I didn’t want this person to be upset nor ruin my relationship with them.
With this apology, I discovered I can apologize easily to some people, yet I struggle at apologizing to other people (usually those closer to me-such as my husband).
Apologizing is not always easy. It takes courage to accept you made a mistake. But it’s ‘oh so freeing!’
Why should we be responsible and apologize when we make a mistake?
When we choose to apologizing we are deciding to humble ourselves by letting the person know we were wrong.
It’s going past our ego and accepting we made a mistake. We take responsibility for what we did or spoke and admit that it was unacceptable. We choose to be sincere about not wanting to hurt them again.
When we apologize, we allow healing to happen on both ends. We avoid anger and resentment to settle in between the relationship. The longer we take to say sorry about our behavior, more damage is being done to a friendship or relationship.
Many times our ego is bigger and we don’t feel the need to say sorry, because we were just being honest about something or we feel we are right and they are wrong. But an apology can only happen when we take a moment to reflect back on the situation and accept our part of a mistake, even when the other person may have also hurt you.
Apologizing shows the other person we care and that we respect them. It shows empathy. It shows that we care enough about the relationship that we are willing to accept what we did wrong and are willing to make things better out of respect. It allows any negative feelings to be dismissed because the person will respect you for owning up to your mistake.
Apologizing is also beneficial for us because we are able to remove the guilt we may have felt from our mistake. It creates freedom in our mind and sets us free from shame. The more we practice apologies, the more humble we become. We are learning to be appreciative of our relationships and are taking care of them. When we apologize, we also teach others to do the same.
As your reading, if someone is coming to mind that you need to apologize to, I encourage you to do so. Who cares if you are the first one to accept the wrong doing! Your relationship with this person is worth more than your ego! Especially when it is your spouse! I admit I struggle at apologizing to my husband. But as soon as I take a step back and reflect on my behavior, I am able to give an apology to him. Sometimes it won’t be easy and sometimes it will.
Take the time you need, whether it be a day or a week. Just know that the longer it takes, the more insincere it will feel to the other person. They might think you didn’t care enough to fix the problem right away. We also can’t wait around for the other person to apologize. Sometimes, we have to be the first ones. We have to be the responsible ones for fixing what can become even more broken.
You will see that the more you practice the act of apology, the more free you will feel. People will have less resentment towards you. They will respect that you admit your wrongs. You will also feel good because you are learning to let go of problems and you take responsibility for your part, without even bringing up their part.
Imagine how beautiful many relationships would be, especially marriages, if we all learned to apologize for our mistakes! We are human, we will sometimes hurt each other. But a person who is able to apologize is someone I respect because it’s not easy to do.
Do you struggle to apologize? Or are you always the one apologizing? I would like to know, how has it helped your relationship with others?