“An apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift.”
Often we believe that apologising is a sign of weakness and a show of defeat. As a result, we find it very difficult to apologise when we get caught in a situation, especially when we feel we are right. Most of us think apologising should be for the person that is found in the wrong, but the truth is that there is need to be apologetic even before it is determined who actually is in the wrong, because we view issues differently, therefore, what one person terms as wrong may not be wrong to the other person. When we understand this aspect then we can be able to reduce up to 90% of the daily misunderstanding in relationships.
Where I come from, apologising is only done by those younger than and children. For example, if my uncle and I had a misunderstanding, I should never expect him to apologise at all, (even if he is the one on the wrong) since he is an “authoritative” figure in my life. It was my duty to apologise in all ways possible, and worse still, if he sensed that I am noticing he is wrong and deserves no apology, he will advance the apology to flogging to add weight to the whole issue. Most of us can actually relate to this. I also grew up with this same mentality, and as a first born, I got the opportunity to reciprocate to my siblings. I never would have apologised to my younger ones even though I was wrong, simply because I’m the eldest. At the back of my mind, I believed that apologising to them is giving them a chance to think that I am weak and give them a chance to disrespect me. I punished and made them apologise 100 times and that made me feel respected and big. I was also sure I closed all loopholes of any little chance for them to talk to me anyhow. I know I have your attention now because you know quite well what I am talking about.
This is a wrong mentality and that is why we experience broken friendships, relationships, families less to talk about the wretched sibling relationships. It is simply because the word sorry is like a giant to us. We want to sit on our high horses and command respect. We bank very much on our old traditions and forget we are living in an evolving world, the 21st century. The things that used to be relevant in the 19th century, may no longer apply. I’ve often heard some of my friends say, “I cannot apologise to him/her, who does he think he is?” My question is, who do you think you are. You see, you are not any better than the person you are referring to. Respect nowadays is not earned through arrogance. The old style of the dominant hierarchy kind of structures in relationships is slowly being overtaken by the egalitarian culture where fairness gives everyone a chance.
Dear readers, now that I’m all grown, I understand the complicity of self-righteousness and human pride. I often see siblings, family members and even married couples who are bound together by love, refusing to talk to one another even for years just because neither of them wants to let go of their pride and break down and apologise. We feel more comfortable to continue placing the blame to one another. We refuse to take the blame on our shoulders and opt never to give peace a chance. This is where our humility level is put to test. Saying “I’m sorry” does not mean you are wrong or you are right, but it means that you have realised that there is a perceived wrong that should be controlled in time before it causes hurt to the persons involved. Our sorry should not be a by the way but it should show that we sincerely regret what happened and genuinely express our desire to change our indifferent behaviour. The apology works even better if we also ask for forgiveness.
There are great benefits that come with “I am sorry”. You feel this inward peace in your heart that is accompanied by great joy. You feel like you just lifted a big burden off your shoulders. You no longer have to bother or feel anger when you see the other person. Forgiveness is an option so the other persons may choose to forgive or not, just do your part without a “BUT” at the end. That will dilute your apology.
You can never go wrong by saying SORRY, learn to embrace the power of apologising and that will be able to reestablish and reconnect you to your sense of safety, secure and long term relationships. It is not an easy thing to do but it is a necessity in life.
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From us, with love,