Admitting that we were wrong takes great strength. It involves a swallowing of pride and a willingness to be honest and vulnerable. The power of apologizing can be initiated with one little sentence… “I’m sorry.” Although it is small in stature, it is mighty in its ability to convey a depth of feeling and a sincere desire for reconciliation.
Apologizing refers to a written or spoken expression of one’s regret, remorse or sorrow for having insulted, failed, injured, pained or wronged another. Apologizing is the most magical, healing and restorative gesture human beings can make when we ask pardon for a fault or offence, we promote understanding and reconciliation with real love. Apologizing helps us recognize our mistakes that have been made and also informs the others of our intention to change. It helps us acknowledge our mistakes and the damage such mistakes have caused.
In moments of conflict, facing the other person and admitting one’s mistakes is the first step towards resolving the conflict. It shows our genuine interest. Apologizing helps build relationships. Asking for forgiveness is an act of maturity. Admitting regrets and talking to the other persons show our responsibility and interest to maintain relationship.
Mark Matthews said, “Apologizing does not always mean you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego.” When we hurt someone, either intentionally or accidentally, a sincere apology can be healing. It implies that we take responsibility for a specific mistake and make sincere efforts to express our regret. Sincerity is the most important ingredient in an expression of regret.
An apology that comes on the spot is worth more than the one that comes later. Even a late apology is better than none. A timely apology is more difficult when we fear the consequences of our action. A sincere apology may require retroactive damage control. It should be brief. A defensive attitude will make things worse than better. A sincere and well-stated apology promotes co-operation and avoid a lot of trouble.
The quality of apologize depends upon our thinking, our upbringing, our humility, our sense of right and wrong and our opinions of others’ feelings. When we apologize, we feel good; the other person feels good. An apology makes us a better person by cleansing us from our guilt.
When we realize that we have made a mistake, we should be ready to apologize immediately rather than offer excuses. Apologizing will do wonders to bring about reconciliation and co-operation. The healing process begins with an apology.
Benefits of Apologizing
Apology is crucial to our mental and even physical health. Research shows that receiving an apology has a noticeable, positive physical effect on the body. An apology actually affects the bodily functions of the person receiving it—blood pressure decreases, heart rate slows and breathing becomes steadier.
Emotional Benefits of Apology• A person who has been harmed feels emotional healing when he is acknowledged by the wrongdoer.• When we receive an apology, we no longer perceive the wrongdoer as a personal threat.• Apology helps us to move past our anger and prevents us from being stuck in the past.• Apology opens the door to forgiveness by allowing us to have empathy for the wrongdoer.
Apology Benefits the Receiver and the Giver• By apologizing and taking responsibility for our actions we help rid ourselves of esteem-robbing self-reproach and guilt. Apologizing helps repair relationships by getting people talking again, and makes them feel comfortable with each other again.• Apology has the power to humble even the most arrogant. When we develop the courage to admit we are wrong and work past our resistance to apologizing, we develop a deep sense of self-respect.• Apologizing helps us remain emotionally connected to our friends and loved ones. Knowing we have wronged someone may cause us to distance ourselves from the person, but once we have apologized, we feel freer to be vulnerable and intimate.• A sincere apology allows you to let people know you’re not proud of what you did, and won’t be repeating the behavior.
I want to conclude this blog with three lovely quotes. Margaret Lee Runbeck says, “An apology is a lovely perfume, it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious spirit.” Dave Willis says, “Holding a grudge doesn’t make you strong; it makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn’t make you weak; it sets you free.” And Mahatma Gandhi said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”