How To Apologize & Keep Relationships Healthy
We say things in the heat of the moment all the time. We get caught up in defending ourselves and too worried about our own feelings that we often cross a line with the person we’re arguing with. Let’s face it, we only argue with people we care about in the first place. We argue with our parents who are just trying to look out for us. We argue with our friends when they point out that we’re being dumb. Anger is a secondary emotion. Meaning that in order to feel angry, we must feel a primary emotion first.
Anger is a result of an escalation of emotions.
Knowing that anger is a result of another emotions, you then must recognize what was your first emotion. Think about what was said or done that made you react in anger and lash out at your loved one. You need to recognize where it all went wrong. Once you spend time doing that and evaluating the situation as a whole, you will be able to pinpoint what you did wrong. Once you figure that out, you can begin to understand why you did it in the first place.
Once you understand what you did wrong, you’ll be ready to start forming an apology. The person can either choose to forgive you, or choose not to. You need to remember this. Even though you are admitting your wrongdoing, your loved one has the ultimate say in your forgiveness.
You need to be sincere and loving when apologizing. Don’t apologize from a place of anger or resentment. Choose your words carefully and don’t be careless. If you’re not sincere, then your apology will be in vain. Be sincere by the tone in your voice, admit that you are wrong, and offer up a way to make it better.
Forming a well thought out apology before actually apologizing can help you deliver it from the heart. Most importantly don’t forget to use the words “I’m sorry” only if you mean them.
Apologizing can be difficult because you have to admit to being wrong about something. We have to swallow our pride and accept that we messed up. If you don’t know what you did wrong, you need to talk to the person you hurt and ask them.
Being able to accept and apologize for your mistakes is a skill.
Practice makes better, but unfortunately, trying to practice an apology means that you had to do something wrong in the first place. Remember that you care about the person you’re apologizing to. They’ve helped you out, maybe even bailed you out of jail, and for some reason communication between you two failed. Luckily, that is nothing a well thought out apology can fix.