Apologizing 101

“I’m sorry…”

Two very powerful words, when spoken from the heart.

Why?

Because you’re acknowledging that you’ve caused another pain, whether it was intentional or not.

It’s an opportunity to express your regret about the way you behaved, the words you spoke, or the intentions you held.

Without an acknowledgement of wrongdoing, how can the other person believe you don’t intend to repeat the offense?

If someone steals 100 dollars from you, but won’t admit to it, can you see yourself believing they’d never do it again?

Probably not.

You can’t change the past.

You can’t take back words or actions.

But by apologizing, you’re doing what you can to right the wrong.

By owning your actions, you’re saying “I did this, it was wrong. I will do my best to not ever do it again.”

If you find yourself ready to offer an apology, make sure you do two things:

1. Be sure to leave out any excuses, reasons or justifications for what you’re apologizing for.

Otherwise, you’re not taking responsibility for your actions. You’re placing the blame somewhere else and that completely invalidates your apology.

2. Check your expectations at the door.

Don’t expect forgiveness, a change in behavior or an apology in return.

If you receive those gifts, be thankful.

But if you don’t, so be it.

You’ve done your part, and the rest is the other person’s stuff to work out with themselves.

Apologizing is often the first step.

Are you ready?

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(Photo by: lemasney)

© 2011 Jenna Korf      All Rights Reserved

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Comments

  1. Dina McCausley says:

    100% agree with this. It really is *that* simple.

  2. Elisette says:

    Also agree. And sometimes, for really big hurts, especially if you see them still experiencing pain from your actions, apologize again.

  3. Lucky (Renee) says:

    Great advice!

  4. I apologized for any hurts I may have caused, never expected her to reciprocate an apology and for a time it seemed to help and even make things better. I think it definitely can assist in remedying the situation for a time being or even forever, dependant on the situation. However, when a person is deeply wounded and carries unresolved issues whether it be the SM or BM, that can be difficult. Often times it’s the issues between the man and woman, left to linger, will trickle into the SM and or the BM’s realm. So on a case by case it CAN be simple, and/or it can be very complicated. I like hearing the stories of the latter, and I do encourage apologies, but I also don’t recommend doing it with expectations. And checking your expectations at the door is easier said than done. Spoken from experience.

  5. Dina McCausley says:

    Celisa, as someone who has done exactly that recently (checked expectations at the door and apologized with no hope of getting anything in return) I can honestly say that the build up to the apology was much worse than the action ~ and once it was done, the weight lifted was ENORMOUS ~ and in hindsight, it wasn’t as difficult as I built it up to be. :-)

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