One can always say they are sorry. But the real apology is when you hear the sadness in their voice and see the look in their eyes, and you realize that they have hurt themselves just as much ~ Kid Cudi. Hi everyone! I hope you’re all doing well. I’m doing splendid and chugging along nicely. Building on the series of blogposts that have gone out this week, let’s talk about apologies today.
When you know someone is hurting, you help them by listening to them, letting them know you hear their pain and that you’re sorry for your part in it. Trust me when I say it’s not all your fault, but that’s besides the points in times like this. I can’t stress enough how this is not, I repeat, this is not the time to remind them of what they did wrong too. There will be plenty of time for that. Or not, but that’s okay too. For now, focus on them, listen to their pain, relate to it, apologies where necessary and have compassion. Healing cannot take place simultaneously between you two, you must stand in line and take turns in due time.
What would that apology look like? First and foremost, it needs to be heartfelt and sincere. I’ve noticed from my personal life that an effective apology goes hand in hand with regret. If you regret your action or the manner in which you cause somebody else hurt, there’s a high chance your apology will be heartfelt and sincere. If you don’t really see what you did wrong, it will sound forced and disingenuous -hence the need for the exercise I outlined in the blogpost Always Be A Hero. It will help you take stock of your role in the fallout. So yes, a good apology goes hand in hand with true regret for one’s offending actions.
It’s important to note that an apology does not involve explaining why you did what you did. You might mean it as an explanation but the hurt party will hear it as an excuse. That’s why we’ve often heard it said ‘never ruin an apology with an excuse’. The difference between an explanation and an excuse is whether you’re saying it or whether you’re hearing it; you give it as one thing but it’s heard as another. You don’t want to do that. Takes responsibility by first saying ‘I am responsible for this and I apologize for it; I am sorry’. Shows regret, then reset. A reset is a very necessary step, for whenever an apology doesn’t include a change, we haven’t apologized yet; it isn’t a real apology.
It’s not enough to say ‘I regret what I did’. Don’t just regret, go ahead and actually apologize. Also, saying ‘I’m sorry’ comes across as more sincere that simply saying ‘I apologize’. Never add ‘if’ to an apology. Saying ‘I’m sorry if I hurt you’ is not an apology because it lacks accountability -you have to take responsibility for your actions. Saying ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’ is not an apology for a similar reason; it means you’re not apologizing for what you did, you’re just apologizing that they’re hurt. Not only does this take away from the purpose, but it also exonerates you from the responsibility of taking accountability. So there you have it -Listen; take responsibility; apologize; say you’re sorry; show regret; show a reset. Cheers, Grey xoxo