We all find it difficult to say, ‘I’m sorry.’
We are not wired to admit defeat and saying sorry feels a lot like defeat to our itsy-bitsy egos. Let’s face it, no one likes to be wrong. But we often spend a lot of energy on convincing ourselves that we are not wrong, when in fact, we are.
We find it tough to say we are sorry for many reasons. Some see it as a sign of weakness. They see standing their ground as being in control and authoritative. The fear of rejection from friends and colleagues can also lead a person to forgo saying sorry. They rather avoid the situation completely, than address it and be vulnerable. Saying sorry can make people feel inadequate or less worthy. Some of these feelings could be from being criticised for failure in their childhood, so they avoid saying sorry to avoid those same feelings from resurfacing.
The scariest are people that lack empathy for others and their feelings. Because they don’t care, they don’t see the need to say sorry. Their narcissism is what will keep them from ever saying they are sorry, even when proven wrong. Waiting for an apology from a narcissist, is futile.
Let’s be clear. When you say sorry, you are asking for forgiveness. You are asking to be forgiven for something bad you have said or done, to wrong someone. It means admitting that you have wronged them. It takes courage and guts to admit when you have made a mistake. Let’s also be clear, we are talking about sincere apologies, not something flippant or trivial.
A heartfelt apology is one of the sincerest things anyone can do.
It must be heartfelt because an apology worth any weight can only be from the heart. It requires being introspective and honest.
It is supposed to be difficult.
When you make yourself vulnerable by admitting you have failed, you are up for scrutiny. Anyone apologising to you, is handing you their honour. It is up to you to respond, with the same humility and respect for their bravery and courage.
We all make mistakes. We all hurt people. Sometimes we do it knowingly, sometimes unknowingly. We all fail from time to time, we are human after all. Making mistakes, experiencing failures, doing or saying the wrong thing, is a human condition. You can’t escape it. The only sure way to escape making a mistake, is to do nothing at all.
A heartfelt apology is one of the most loving and caring things anyone can do.
Healthy relationships allow enough ‘space’ for saying sorry. Saying sorry shows you are aware of your shortcomings as a person. It also shows that you are willing to learn and to grow from your mistakes. Being open to being wrong, opens our mind to other possibilities, opinions and ideas.
Here’s two simple ways to help keep you from always thinking you are right:
- Try starting more of your sentences with, “I could be wrong…” and
- be quicker to say, “I don’t know.”
Have an awesome weekend. 😉
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