Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Art of The Apology

I think one of the most difficult arts to learn, is the art of the sincere apology.  I'd be a liar if I told you that it's easy to learn, easy to do, and that you'll really look forward to the time(s) when you'll have to practice this hard-earned skill.

Because it's so hard to learn, most of us avoid learning how to do it well for a very long time.  Hell, some people never learn to do it.  For them, it will always be your failing if you took their meaning the wrong way, or you are just too sensitive or whatever...  But, it's not you; it's them.  And, don't worry, they'll have their turn at having their feelings hurt or will happen and hopefully, they'll start to figure it out.

For now though, I want to consider how one acquires the skill of the true apology.  And, honestly I don't know the answer.  I suppose that one day you stop letting your Ego run the show.  You stop listening to it when it says, "Really, what's wrong with them? They need to just get over it.  It's stupid how they feel, and I won't support them in this craziness!"  Yep, Ego keeps you from being able to reach out and humble yourself when an apology is truly required.

The fact is, it's not necessary for you to be able to understand or relate to why an individual has been hurt by anything you've said or done.  You simply need to accept that they feel this way.  And then the next step... being humbled enough to deal with the uncomfortable, itchy feeling you get when you are clearly aware you've hurt someone and need to say the words, "I'm truly sorry if I hurt you."

Once you've done it a few times, while it doesn't come easier, it seems to come quicker.  And, those precious moments that can save a relationship aren't squandered.  When a true apology comes sooner rather than later, you get the chance to start over.

And here's the place where I've finally arrived, thanks to having had to give my share of apologies for being thoughtless or flip or unkind or stupid or fill in the, I think before I open my pie hole.  Now I carefully consider if what I'm about to do or say will contribute in a positive way to the situation.  If not, I'm now old enough to realize it's not always about me and what I want or think.  I'm able to keep my mouth closed.  Even so, I'm still not past the point where I'll never have to apologize again.  But it does seem to be less frequent.

Since I don't like to apologize, and let's face it, none of us does, I've learned that if I keep my thoughts to myself and consider the other person more than I think about myself, I don't have to apologize nearly as much.


Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Is Always Sincere When She Must Offer An Apology


Joanna Jenkins said...

Interesting post, Holly. Apologizing and knowing when to do the deed is a hard lesson to master-- I'm still trying. Thanks for the encouragement.
Happy weekend, xo jj

Jodi said...

I think the first trick is knowing when an apology is required. Once you know, if you approach it with sincerity I think it works.

Like you though, I try to keep my thoughts to myself therefore I don't have to apologize too frequently. ;-)

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