Posts Tagged ‘apologies’

Recently, I had two experiences with apologies, one bad, the other good.  The “bad” was one I wasn’t able to give.  My manager at work called to tell me another employee had complained about me.  She wouldn’t tell me who complained or what the complaint was about, which I to some extent understand.  But that robbed me of the opportunity to know how to change and also the chance to apologize to the person who complained.  I couldn’t think of any event that might have caused it and I felt bad for several days.

The second experience was something hurtful said to me, although not about me, in front of a group of friends.  Although I knew the person didn’t mean it to be hurtful, it was a remark that caused everyone else to laugh and me to retreat inside myself for the rest of the meeting and until I went to bed that night.  It’s easy to know I should just let it go, but hard to do!

The difference was that the morning after that second incident, I received an email from the person who’d made the remark, saying he shouldn’t have said what he did and asking for my forgiveness. I emailed back, saying that yes, I’d felt bad, thanking him for the apology, and accepting it.

A sincere apology, although it doesn’t take negate the initial hurt, offers the hurt person the chance to let go of the hurt and the opportunity to heal the relationship.  It may also, in the same way the healed site of a broken bone is stronger than before it broke, make the relationship stronger.  A missed chance can do the opposite.  Of course, an insincere apology adds insult to injury and even a sincere one doesn’t mean the other person will accept it, but don’t pass up the need for a heartfelt apology when you’ve wronged someone.  Even if that person doesn’t forgive you, you’ll be free to move ahead.