We all know that sometimes it is hard to move on, without an apology, from someone who has hurt us… but did you realise that it can be hard to move on if you haven’t given an apology?
It’s true, an apology is not only for the other person. If you know in your heart that you have done something that doesn’t line up with the values you hold for yourself, your self-esteem will suffer, unless you follow the necessary steps to make up for it. Let’s say you have done something to hurt a loved one and you know you were in the wrong. There is no need to dwell on it, just apologise.
There are four steps to a complete apology:
(1) Own it. Realise to yourself that you have made a mistake.
(2) Admit to the other person involved what it was you did. Show them that you realise the consequences of your behaviour.
(3) Do everything you can to make amends for the situation. Make things right as far as you possibly can.
(4) Make a commitment to behave differently in the future.
If ALL of these steps are followed everyone involved will find it much easier to move on.
The apology will not be effective if you miss any of the steps: No one will feel better if you do not own what you’ve done, or you make excuses for why you did it. It doesn’t make anyone feel better to keep saying “I’m sorry” over and over, without doing anything to fix the situation. It definitely doesn’t help if you go out of your way to be nice to the person without ever acknowledging what it is you did wrong. It also undermines an apology if you go back to behaving the same way that caused the problem in the first place.
It could be that your other friend tells you they deserved it, it could be that your mother, or your therapist, tells you that everyone makes mistakes and it could be that the person you wronged has already forgiven you. These 4 steps are still needed. Then everyone will feel better.
In my experience when you receive a proper apology, it is easy to move on. You feel that your feelings have been validated and that the other person cares enough to make things better. People aren’t perfect and will make mistakes, knowing how to make a perfect apology is a useful skill.
Can you think of a time where a proper apology might have helped you to move on? Which aspects were missing for you?
Thank you for sharing this and sharing the love ❤️