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How much do you value the relationship(DW# 800 )

As we end our series on apologies, I leave you with one final thought:
 
If we value our relationships, we need to learn to apologize effectively. When we apologize, we send a clear message that the other person matters to us. That our relationship with them is valuable enough that we will do what it takes to make amends for our poor behaviour without evasion, excuse making or blaming.
 
Sometimes the process of apologizing is less about insisting on justice and more about investing in the relationship and the other person’s happiness. It is also about having the maturity and emotional intelligence to apologize for our part even when the other person’s reactions seem exaggerated, or when they can’t see their own contribution to the problem.
 
Here is how Dr Lerner ends her book Why Won't You Apologize?: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts:
 
Lead with your heart and not your attack dog. It’s difficult and it’s worth...
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The gift of a sincere apology(DW# 796)

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...
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Have the last laugh(DW# 795)

As we conclude the series on emotional abuse, let us just remind ourselves that regardless of other people’s behaviour, we can still choose how to respond to it.
 
With support, with increased emotional awareness, by learning to identify and call out the gaslighting, we can learn to validate ourselves. When others challenge our perception, we can choose to ignore them. We can work against adopting the self-doubt that is so crippling in emotionally abusive tactics such as gaslighting. We can practice reminding ourselves that despite the challenges we are currently experiencing, we have the resources to emerge stronger.
 
Let us look at what happens in the last scene of the movie Gaslight:
 
Paula, realizing that her husband Gregory has been manipulating her and intentionally trying to drive her crazy, turns the tables on him. In the final scene, Gregory has been caught and tied to a chair by police. When Paula enters the room, he instructs her to get a knife...
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