Recognize that you’re going to make mistakes, and when you do, sometimes your words and actions will negatively impact those you care about most.
Have you ever:
- Lost your temper and said something in anger that you regret?
- Blamed someone else and then realized you were the one at fault?
- Inconvenienced others by being late, careless, or otherwise self-absorbed?
The trick is to recognize what you’ve done (or haven’t done) as quickly as possible so you can repair the damage before it becomes deep or permanent.
Saying “I’M SORRY” can make all the difference in strengthening or healing a relationship, yet sometimes these words stick in your throat.
Why is it so hard to say “I’m sorry” when you’ve said or done something hurtful?
For one thing, we like to be right so it’s painful to admit we’re wrong. With an apology, we acknowledge we’re imperfect. It takes a strong sense of self to make yourself vulnerable to another person.
Or maybe you’re concerned that you’ll be perceived as weak and the other person will take advantage of you in some way.
Here’s the reality though.
Most of the time, the injured party will be relieved to hear you say, “I’m sorry” and be quick to forgive you. At a minimum, you’ve opened the door to more meaningful communication where you can discuss what went wrong and what’s needed to repair the relationship and restore good feelings.
You can expend enormous energy trying to justify your behavior or defend what you said. But in the end, if your words or actions created problems for another person – and that individual is important to you – you need to set your ego aside and apologize as quickly as you can. I guarantee that your relationships will be stronger when you make a sincere apology and follow up with behavior that restores trust and respect.
"It takes a great deal of character strength to apologize quickly out of one's heart rather than out of pity. A person must possess himself and have a deep sense of security in fundamental principles and values in order to genuinely apologize." - Stephen Covey