by Tamara Flaherty
Just two tiny little words.
Two little words that are often the hardest words in the world to say.
Two little words that have more power to heal than the smartest doctor or the strongest medicine.
We spend so much time and energy trying to cover up, ignore, deny, dismiss, or justify the hurtful things that we do and say to each other.
What is it about acknowledging our guilt, and offering a sincere apology to those we have harmed that is so freaking hard?
It requires humility to admit that we screwed up.
It requires us to swallow our pride and admit out loud to another person that we were WRONG.
We live in a society that values self-confidence over humility,
Self-esteem over true worthiness,
and narcissism over empathy for others.
Most people today would choke to death on their pride if they even attempted to swallow it.
When people like this have to apologize or else risk negative personal consequences,
the apologies are never “I’m sorry that I” apologies,
they are “I’m sorry if you ” apologies.
“I’m sorry if you took what I said the wrong way.”
“I’m sorry if you got upset about what I did.”
This kind of insincere apology is basically another way of putting the blame back on the offended party while claiming that you apologized.
Some people do not apologize because they fear the rejection that may happen as a result.
It’s risky to apologize when you don’t know how the offended party will receive it. If they reject your apology, that’s a double blow to your pride.
Some people craft their apologies in a way that minimizes the harm they caused, and prevents the possibility of rejection.
Those apologies go something like this.
“I’m sorry that I called you a selfish pig but you should apologize to me for not letting me have what I asked for.”
When the offended party doesn’t also apologize for their “part” in the situation, the original apology is revoked.
Some people never even bother with apologies because of their own arrogance. They view apologies as beneath them and a sign of weakness.
They sound something like this;
“If they have a problem with me that’s too bad. If they don’t like me the way I am that’s their loss, because I’m not about to change for them or anyone else.”
It’s really rare in today’s world to receive a truly sincere,
“I’m so sorry that I hurt you. Will you forgive me?”
I’ve received a few of those in my life, and they are so powerful in their ability to stop the bleeding in an open wound and to start the healing process.
A sincere apology can heal a broken heart, mend a broken relationship, and calm a troubled mind.
I challenge each and every person reading this to offer a sincere apology to someone that you have harmed. Put aside any of your own expectations or fears and just say the words from your heart.
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