Apology is about caring for each other. It is about reminding each other that even though we did something wrong we want to have a good relationship. The closer we are, the more important it is for us to remind each other of that. If we live together, it is essential. Mistakes and wrongdoing are a natural part of being human. That makes apology something everyone must do.
To apologize, we need to do three things:
- Understand what we did wrong – without believing it “was nothing” or it was “the worst thing in the world”
- Say “I am sorry” – and really mean it!
- Make restitution – which is how we attempt to “repay” whomever we hurt, and fix or replace whatever we damaged
We can do the first two steps by ourselves, so we may find them easy. The third step is often very difficult, because if forces us to try to satisfy whomever we may have hurt. So, in a way, they have some control over us. This can make us feel afraid, sad or angry.
But it’s hard to really apologize when we feel afraid or angry. Because, when we feel that way, we think of ourselves first, and try to protect ourselves, and don’t focus enough on others. Even if we try to apologize, when we are feeling sorry for ourselves, we usually blame someone, or something else for what we did. But, if we blame anyone or anything else, even just a little, we are not really apologizing.
If when we do something wrong, we can be strong, and really think of others, and really apologize, we can feel good about ourselves and know that we are an irreplaceable part of our healthy positive community.