Saturday, January 8, 2011

It's Never Too Late To Apologize

Never.

I think I am a somewhat gullible and naïve person. I always see the best in people, even when it doesn’t exist, and believe everyone’s motives are good. I trust without it being earned, and it’s led to some hurt in my life. Hurt that probably wouldn’t have happened if I had been more careful with my trust.

I know I’m not the only person who’s ever been hurt before, I know I will be hurt in the future. It’s part of human nature. But for goodness sake, if you hurt someone, don’t avoid it, don’t excuse it - just apologize.

I don’t mean a half-hearted “I’m sorry”. I mean give that person more than a second of your time: reflect on your actions and explain why you are sorry. Do it in person if possible. Let them ask questions. Be sincere.

The apologies I’ve received have allowed for self-healing. For mended relationships. For admittance of mistakes or wrong-doing and for letting go of the past. They have helped me move on toward forgiveness. The ability to apologize, to admit a wrong, shows character. It’s closure to an argument or situation.

So the flip side – those who don’t apologize: who either don’t see it as necessary, don’t care, or don’t think they did anything worth apologizing for. It doesn’t matter if it happened years, months, or days ago, the hurt from your actions is there. Forgiveness may have happened, but the pain has not been forgotten. Instead, the person you hurt ends up confused, unable to reconcile in his/her mind who they thought you were/knew you to be, and how you ended up not only hurting them but not even caring enough to apologize for it.

If you cared about someone enough to cause hurt, you probably should care enough to apologize for it. And if you are honest, simply ignoring the fact that you hurt someone in your life isn’t all that freeing for you, either. I’ve never heard of an instance where an apology was a bad thing.

It’s never, ever too late to apologize. Do it.

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