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  • Sam DiFranco

Saying Sorry

What is it about the words “I’m sorry” that makes it so hard to say? Is is about the guilt behind the wrongdoing, or is it the ego behind always being right?


sorry

Whatever it is, people find it hard to apologize. Authentic and effective apology is the very core of healing, clarifying, and restoring relationships. Like forgiveness, an apology can cut the cycle of anger, revenge, and hatred. The person giving the apology can tend to feel extremely vulnerable, fearing how the apology will be received. The giver’s apology could be rejected, causing him or her to feel unforgivable, and therefore less likely to say sorry in the future. However, if the giver works internally on becoming proud of his or her own efforts in apologizing, then he or she can move from feeling unforgivable to being unforgiven. Being unforgiven is out of his or her control and does not diminish a person’s self-worth.

There are a number of things to consider when giving an apology. An effective apology shows that:

  1. the giver recognizes that his or her actions were wrong or harmful

  2. the giver takes full responsibility and is not defensive

  3. the giver feels remorse for the wrongdoing

  4. the giver wants to make amends

  5. and the giver reassures that he or she will behave differently in the future

When giving an apology, the giver should not:

  1. use ifs or buts; for example, “I apologize if I offended you,” or “I’m sorry but you shouldn’t take it personally.”

  2. assume how the receiver feels

  3. be unclear; avoid this by starting your apology with “I”

  4. wait too long to apologize

  5. apologize via text message, email, Facebook, or Twitter; do it in person

An apology can move mountains. A half-hearted one can make things worse. A sincere and well-crafted apology can restore relationships.

To read the entire article: http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/saying-youre-sorry-part-i-apologies-that-heal-0401144

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