In the early days, I remember a saying: “always teach your children to be able to say the three magical words ; thank you, sorry and please.”
Making flashbacks, my mother weren’t really generous in demonstrating those words to her kids, nor other people. She was the hard-negotiator type of woman. However, she did tell us to say thank you every time someone has helped us, and add “please” when asking a favor. Now, saying sorry is another whole different dimension for us. The word is probably the toughest amongst other people too. It is not only the case of sincerity of an apology, saying sorry tend to be just casualties for so many purpose. Often only for the sake of courtesy. An artificial kindness that didn’t sign up for specific terms and conditions.
Say hello to another meaning of sorry.
It is easy to say sorry for certain things ; bumping into someone at the elevator, spilling a drink on somebody´s shirt, and many other situations that seems to be so light for us to be excused, especially by a stranger.
The subject of apology can carry a certain weight for us to do it. A different case with people who are racked with guilt, and lambasted themselves at night with remorse, apologizing may hold bigger probability to actually happen. But for someone who’s in between of hesitation and pride to say sorry,not to mention denying the guilt, will presumably having a hard time to act on it.
According to dr. Harriet Lerner, a clinical psychologist that wrote numerous publications on women psychology, says in her book ¨Why Won´t You Apologize.” , the good kind of apology is when you actually get rid of any kind of excuses,or added reasons afterward. Saying sorry should be stated nothing but only the regret.
It should be a pure act of understanding the hurt of another party, and concealing any form of your defensiveness.
Another way to do this is by focusing on how would you feel if you were in their shoes ? You can construct new perspectives by being a true listener.
Because, It’s not the word “I’m sorry” that really heal the injuries, it is how you get to the bottom of it. Validating how they feel, and admitting ..yes, I screwed up. Learning to listen attentively and accepting the anger, or the hurt that has been caused with an open heart. In the mean time, trying not to distort the gesture with certain aspects for your own interest.
Pride and Pain
A few people would never apologise. They are often left with anger, no closure, and in the end an agonizing pain for themselves. This leads to nothing but despair, just for saving our pride in saying what seems to be the hardest word. Pride wants nothing to do with shame, which is something people associate when admitting they are wrong in an apology. On the contrary, truly saying the word sorry can set us free from the grudge, guilt, and humiliation we’ve been holding back. It is surrendering your defensiveness for being wrong which is often interpreted funnily as a weakness.
It takes strength and a firm character for someone to truthfully learned his mistakes. Realising it without excuse or any reasoning to make them sound better. Release the burden of being perfect by learning to own your mistake, knowing how to say sorry, and being ready to make amends.
A writer and entrepreneur with profound interest in humankind research and insights. An avid coffee drinker and book hoarder. Hours and days spent in Jakarta.