Do you find it difficult to say sorry?
Saying sorry means admitting you’ve done something wrong, doesn’t it?
Well, in my experience, not always.
You see, there are many people out there in the world who will never admit they have done anything wrong. They’ll never swallow their pride to say sorry to anyone no matter what. It can be very hard to find the will to not hold a grudge against them. So much frustration which is understandable.
It actually takes guts to say sorry because of the vulnerability it places you in. You are at the mercy of the other person in that they can reject your apology, react violently, disown you, or even think it justifies their own actions so no need for them to own their part and apologise for how they treated you.
When I was growing up, I was a child who liked to do the right thing. If I got into trouble for something, it would move me to tears because of how disappointed the person seemed to be in me. I also found it difficult to admit when I had done something wrong for the fear of the person not liking me anymore over it. Saying sorry meant I was admitting to having done something wrong for which I was to be hated for.
Today, I find saying sorry as natural as saying good morning. I’m not afraid anymore to admit when I have done something wrong and take ownership of my mistakes. I can hear criticism, take it on board and take action to change or rectify the situation.
Sometimes, we may find ourselves in a situation where someone has hurt us immensely for which we hold a grudge and refuse to talk to that person. So, nothing gets sorted out. You may or may not be at fault but the emotions of the ordeal might be too overwhelming, or the act too much to handle.
Last week, I discussed forgiveness (Please Forgive Me). You may think forgiveness and saying sorry are the same thing but not necessarily. Sometimes you will never get an apology but you still need to forgive for your own good, such as in a sexual assault situation. The perpetrator will probably deny what they did for eternity. The victim is left to live with the absence of their hurt being acknowledged by the person responsible and somehow, will have to find a way to overcome that.
If someone approached you and apologised for something they did to you, admitting what it is they did, for the majority of the time, most of us would forgive that person instantly due to the fact they acknowledged your hurt and what caused it. Possibly, the type of relationship you have with that person may be an influencing factor as well.
Forgiveness and saying sorry are certainly closely related but don’t always go together.
Not all my apologies have been accepted over the years. Even though I was truly sorry for the hurt I caused, and expressed as much, the other person wasn’t ready to forgive me and so rejected it. Whatever relationship we had dissolved as a result.
Then there is the “I’m sorry” for something you didn’t cause – The Peace Apology. This sort of apology is usually due to one valuing the relationship more-so than the issue. There also may be times when we need to acknowledge our own bad behaviour or mean words to the other person regardless of not being at fault. Hurt is hurt regardless of the origin of the fight.
The Peace Apology went on in my family for years. So many times, we apologised to this one person for fights they were the instigator of so we could preserve the relationship. In doing so, this person saw it as an admission of guilt for the whole thing and we never received an apology in return for how they treated us. Most of the time, the issues we were fighting about were minute insignificant things which weren’t worth the headache.
Obviously, the person I am referring to is not to blame for all our family disputes. However, they are the only one we have had to use The Peace Apology with. To this day, I have only ever heard them say sorry once.
Currently, the person in question has ostracised themselves from a number of family members because of their insistence they have done nothing wrong and it is everyone else’s fault. I know the situation is affecting everyone incredibly, but this time The Peace Apology won’t work. The event was far too serious to overlook like previous disagreements. Unfortunately, this time the reason for the dispute is not insignificant and needs to be properly addressed. Their pride may be the only reason a resolution can’t be found.
Whatever happens, “I’m sorry” is the cure. Without it, the grudge will grow, unforgiveness will fester and there will be no moving forward.
Imagine what that poison could do to you just because you couldn’t say sorry, you rejected an apology, or you refused to apply The Peace Apology due to pride.
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