As we talk about forgiveness, let’s agree that we are talking about forgiveness in the context of relationships we value and want to continue, like our marriages. If we want our marriages to last, forgiveness must be learned and practiced over and over again.
Do you actually take the gift of an apology, whether given or received, as your opportunity to win? The word “but” shouldn’t be anywhere near “I’m sorry”, else you aren’t apologizing, or sincerely sorry instead you are trying to be right, which will cause more harm than good.
The reason is because you are missing two fundamental components of the foundation you need to build for a heartfelt apology that can be felt by the other person and by you
HERE ARE WAYS TO SAY I’M SORRY LIKE YOU MEAN IT
- Expressing Regret: This language appeals to the emotions. It indicates that we are aware that we caused pain. “I’m sorry I spoke harshly. I know I’ve hurt your feelings and I’m so sorry for that.”
- Accepting Responsibility: This language spells out what was done wrong. “I was wrong to speak to you in that tone. I shouldn’t have reacted like that.”
- Making Restitution: This one is all about how to make up. Usually the request will fall in line with that person’s love language. “I can’t believe I reacted that way. Please tell me what I can do to make it up to you.”
- Expressing The Desire To Change Behavior: This one is pretty self-explanatory. “I keep losing my temper and I know that’s not right. I don’t want to repeat this. Can you think of anything that could help make sure this doesn’t happen?”
- Requesting Forgiveness: This is where forgiveness has to be requested before the apology is seen as being sincere. “I’m so sorry I spoke harshly and reacted the way I did. I know this hurts you. Will you please forgive me?”
Finally, forgiveness is an essential part of a growing relationship. it is also not something that comes naturally to most of us, but it can be learnt when it’s consistently practiced. This helps our relationships get better and grow.