For most of us, offering an apology feels awkward or uncomfortable.
For one thing, we don’t have a lot of practice. For another thing, the concept of apologizing is often associated with being “bad” or “wrong.”
Consider thinking about an apology as a behavior that says, “You matter to me. I am sorry for doing or saying something that has hurt your feelings or made YOU feel badly.”
There is nothing in that sentence of intention about YOU being “bad” or doing anything “wrong”!
Here Are 8 Easy Steps to Offering an Apology:
- Take a deep breath.
- Remind yourself that the person who is hurt is not the enemy.
- Remind yourself that the person who is hurt is a person you cherish and value and whom you wouldn’t hurt for anything in the world.
- Remind yourself that a very common response to someone telling us that they have been hurt by us is to get angry!
- Keep breathing!
- Now Repeat After Me…
“I am sorry that what I said (or didn’t say) or what I did (or didn’t do) made you feel like I don’t care about you. It was not my intention to say or do anything that would upset you or cause you hurt. What can I do or say right now to repair the hurt in your heart? I care about you. It matters to me that you are hurt. I want to make the hurt better.”
- Take another deep breath and be quiet.
- Allow him or her time to let your words sink in and start to soothe the hurt; salve the wounded heart.
That’s all there is to it!
I invite you to practice this new skill often, in the privacy of your own safe space. Allow the words become more comfortable to say and the new behavior to become more familiar.
Then, make an apology to another person at the very next opportunity.
Remember, only YOU can make it happen!
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