‘Sorry’ isn’t the hardest part

The only thing worse than an insincere apology is the apology that is offered with a demand that it be accepted.

The most important part of an apology is not that it is made, but that it is authentic.

Not just sincere. Authentic.

If an apology is limited to a text message, or a few words uttered, but has no meaningful effort behind it to remedy the offence or harm that was caused, then it isn’t an apology. It’s manipulation.

When we demand that our apology result in a change in attitude from the one that was offended because the apology is supposed to put the offence behind us, it’s not an apology, it’s manipulation.

When we apologise but take offence or become defensive when the impact of our behaviour needs to be discussed by the one we offended, then we didn’t apologise, we were just ‘doing the right thing’. That’s manipulation.

When we are sincere in regretting the harm or offence that we caused, an apology will be the smallest action that we take to make up for what we did.

If we’re sincere, an apology will only mark the first step in our effort to regain the trust and confidence, or the good standing that we had with someone, because they are important to us, and not just because they didn’t deserve what we did, or we feel self-righteous in owning up to being wrong.

On the flip-side, needing someone to admit fault and repeatedly apologise for something that they’ve already shown remorse for is not accepting their apology. Nor is it sincere reciprocation of their efforts to remedy the breach in the relationship.

It’s revenge aimed at inflicting the same harm or offence that we felt from their behaviour.

Whether justified or not, it reflects what we value more. The relationship that we have with them, and how much we value who they are, or being seen as the victim of their mistake.

Be authentic. If not, you’re simply manipulating your way through life.

It always starts with you.

#selfworth #selfawareness #ownyourlife #theegosystem #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #lifecoaching #zaidismail #authenticity #apologize #apologies #narcissism



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5 responses to “‘Sorry’ isn’t the hardest part”

  1. I was taught that the proper way to apologize was to say sorry for the exact thing that caused hurt and to ask for forgiveness from the person

    • Good balance. But be careful with the forgiveness part. Forgiveness is only truly possible when we have understanding about why it happened, because understanding makes acceptance easier, which then makes forgiveness more sustainable. Otherwise we forgive because we hope to let go, but the impact still carries with us.

  2. I was always taught to apologize by saying “I’m sorry I hurt you, and I want to ask you to forgive me”. It has worked for me.

  3. that sounds to me not an aplogoy but like abuse… The key being – how it makes us feel? If it feels as rubbing the joy out of our insides, it’s opposite from being good and acceptable to us, the recepient. It’s meant to hurt, not heal or be good for us, whatever the words are.

    • Hence the focus on determining the authenticity of the apology so that we don’t become easily manipulated by someone who is avoiding accountability for the harm or offence that they caused.

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