“Sorry seems to be the hardest word.” ~Elton John
When tempers flare or pain and hurts transform into anger, we have a tendency of saying hurtful things; things that we don’t really mean. This is especially true when you have two passionate individuals involved. And the closer your relationship, it seems the nastier and more cutting those words tend to be.
When those hurtful words come tumbling out, there’s no retraction. Just as a bell can’t be un-rung, words can’t be un-said and we’re left to deal with the damage and consequences of words spoken in the heat of the moment.
For those on the receiving end of your words, those emotions can remain raw until you say those two words: “I’m sorry.” But those words only have mending power if they’re backed with genuine emotion. A casual “I’m sorry” is meaningless.
In some cases, a full apology is warranted. So what makes a good apology? It should have three parts:
• I’m sorry;
• It’s my fault (or an acknowledgement of wrong-doing); and
• What can I do to make it right?
Those are the components of a good, effective apology. But again, those words must be backed by genuine emotion. And unfortunately, most people forget the third part — the part when you take action to remedy the situation and the hurts that you’ve caused.
An apology is so much more than just words! An apology says so much more than just “I’m sorry.” It’s an acknowledgement of the fact that you’re not always right. An apology also shows that you truly care about the other person’s welfare and emotional well-being — a point that is essential for any healthy relationship. Apologies also serve to diffuse the situation, while acknowledging and validating the other individual’s feelings and opinions, even if you don’t agree with their perspective.
Equally important is knowing when not to say “I’m sorry.” Not every conflict requires an apology and over-using apologies can diminish their impact. You shouldn’t apologize for having your own emotional needs, for instance. But if you’re aware that the other person is wounded, but aren’t sincerely sorry, then use the opportunity to start a dialogue so you can arrive at a better understanding of each other. This involves actually listening to the other person’s perspective — something we often forget to do in the heat of the moment.
There’s also the timeframe of the apology. Waiting days or weeks will diminish the power of your apology. Don’t allow hurts to linger. And make no mistake: without a good apology, those hurts can and will linger for weeks, months, years — even an entire lifetime. Those words that tumbled out as part of spite and malice-filled tangent can cut
through your defenses, becoming embedded deep within your very spirit. And there they will remain until a sincere, genuine apology is offered up and the individual takes action to right the wrongs that led to those hurts.
In today’s episode of Sunday Night With Scott Binsack, we’ll explore apologies and the impact of those two words: “I’m sorry.”
Join “Scott Binsack” as he goes in depth to explore the life experiences and actions that have led him to say “I’m sorry.” We’ll also discuss what we can do to control our anger, so as to avoid saying words that we’ll come to regret. It’s a humbling show and one that simply can’t be missed!
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