The gift of a sincere apology(DW# 796)
Jul 13, 2020
We have talked at length about how apologies can easily go wrong and fail to make amends for our slips and mistakes.
Now let us look at what does make a good apology and why it matters.
Harriet Lerner puts it so well:
"I’m sorry" are the two most healing words in the English language. When they are spoken as part of a wholehearted apology, these words are the greatest gift we can give to the person we have offended. Our apology can help free the hurt person from life-draining anger, bitterness, and pain. It validates their sense of reality by affirming that, yes, their feelings make sense, we get it, and we take full responsibility for our words and actions (or our failure to speak or act). A heartfelt apology allows the hurt party the space to explore the possibilities of healing instead of just struggling to make sense of it all.
Isn’t that so powerful?
It is true that the hurt person has their own journey of forgiveness and they will take it in their own time and in their own way.
When the offender refuses to apologize though, the hurt person must use their energy and struggle to make sense of it as the offence goes against the human instinct for fair play. They will spend countless hours trying to make sense of what happened. They will question themselves and their understanding of reality.
And when the offender does take responsibility, it greatly lightens the cognitive and emotional load on the hurt party. Their sense of order and fair play is restored. Their world begins to make sense again. They begin to understand that people make mistakes and sometimes do things to hurt others. They can now go ahead and process the hurt and pain and begin to let go of it.
What a beautiful gift to make their path of healing and forgiveness easier.
Join our blog!
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.