“I apologize.” “Forgive me.” “I was wrong.”
These are some of the shortest phrases known to mankind, but they can be the most powerful. Giving or receiving an apology can be the hardest thing to do and encounter when one is really hurt. Telling someone you’re sorry for something you did wrong or for something misunderstood means that the person must lay aside their pride and admit to it, and this is not an easy thing to do. And on the other hand, receiving an apology can be bittersweet as well because hearing and accepting apologetic words or gestures causes the recipient to remember a bad time in their life that they’ve held on to, and they too must swallow their pride in choosing to accept it (and agreeing to let that anger go for good).
Giving an apology has its pros and cons, but nonetheless, it’s important to give one when someone you care about feels hurt. Why you ask?
1. It provides closure for you that brings about a peace of mind and helps you heal wounds of guilt from within.
2. Apologies allow you to grow because admitting that you were wrong is one of the hardest things for some people to do.
3. It rights a wrong and helps to give you and the other person closure. Whether or not they are receptive of your apology, no matter when it was given, at some point they will appreciate it.
After you’ve given your apology the most important thing you can do (before or after it’s given) is to forgive yourself and move on with your life. Why is this important?
Forgiving yourself means that you’ve let go of the matter and you sincerely meant your apology. Many times when we’ve wronged someone we are so bothered that we can’t move beyond what we’ve done. We burry the transgression within our souls and leave it there to fester and grow, and in turn, that leaves internal scars that if left unattended, can affect our lives in more ways than one without us realizing it. So be sure that you’ve forgiven yourself before or after you’ve apologized.
Now on the flip side of things, what do you do if you believe you deserve an apology but don’t get one?
1. Evaluate the situation from both sides and make sure you haven’t overreacted. As adamant as we may be at times about being right, the truth of the matter is that there is a possibility that we’re wrong and we do not deserve an apology, but we can’t see beyond our own opinion.
2. Try your best to forgive and forget about the situation, because it’s really only hurting you. This can be a difficult task because your feelings and ego may be bruised and it’s not easy to forget that someone hurt you, let alone forgive them if they didn’t acknowledge their wrongdoing. However, in order for you to move on with your life, you have to let go.
3. Make up in your mind that you do not need an apology in order to move past a wrong that’s been done to you. The mind is a very powerful tool that controls our emotions and actions. If you have your mind set on not needing an apology, then the rest of you will follow and you will move forward.
Saying one of the short aforementioned phrases can be one of the biggest things a person can do for themselves and someone else. But if you don’t receive an apology you thought you deserved, don’t sweat it. Life’s too short to be concerned about what someone else didn’t give you and to let it hinder your growth and happiness.
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin