Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.
Say “I’m sorry”
This is a suggestion that, for many of us, is a no-brainer. Some of us know when we have committed an infraction in word or deed and we readily and easily apologize. Others, perhaps not so much. Why is it important to say “I’m sorry”?
An apology demonstrates respect and empathy for the person who was ‘wronged’. If we’ve hurt someone – unintentionally or otherwise – it’s important to acknowledge that our actions may have generated unwanted or unpleasant feelings in the person who felt injured. It indicates that we have an awareness of how our behavior impacted another and that we are willing to take responsibility for our behavior.
Perhaps the most important element is that of taking responsibility; of owning the impact our actions have had. An apology only has an impact when the offensive behavior isn’t repeated. As the famous saying goes… “the first time is a mistake, the second is a choice.” When we own our part in an infraction, pay attention to how it came about, and repent – making a promise not to repeat the offense – it becomes forgivable.
Being sincere is the second most important element in an apology; expressed without anger or blame. When we accompany it with a desire to repair the damage, with humility, and compassion for the feelings of all involved, the regret is more easily accepted.
Watch your Language
An apology that includes the word “but” is null and void before it really ever gets started. “I’m sorry but…” becomes meaningless because most of us will only remember the words that came after. If we use any language that implies blame, defense will rise in the receiver and they’ll be unable to register the apology. If there is a problem to resolve, work on it after responsibility for hurt has been demonstrated and amends have begun.
Think carefully about someone in your life that may still be hurting from your action or lack thereof… consider taking a few minutes to construct an apology and then…
Say “I’m sorry”.
I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.