Coping Skills: #73. Apologize

Two girls talking

More people should apologize,
and more people should accept
apologies when sincerely made. – Greg LeMond

Many times, people around us are frustrating. They refuse to help out at work, say that joke that you hate, or act like you are stupid. These instances are annoying and hurtful.

Lashing out in anger can seem to be the only way that people will respond. If you yell loud enough or whine endlessly, someone is sure to take notice. But how will that impact your relationship? What kind of person does that build you up to be?

Now, sometimes we need to raise our voices to be heard or be honest about a difficult situation. In other occasions, the best response for all involved is to just apologize for your part in the situation and move on with life.

Writing this is far simpler than living it. When people injury me, I want them to realize their unkindness and make amends. To a certain extent, that is a good desire. Close friends and family members should not continuously bully me into damaging situations. Still, pride and longing for complete justice can lead to holding grudges.

Here is the sad truth; people often do not own up to their wrongdoings. If you wait for an apology every time that you are injured, you will be waiting until your last breath. There are some good souls who are humble enough to admit their faults. Most of us, however, are too scared, disillusioned, proud, or dense to apologize.

That is why being the first to say “I am sorry” or “Please forgive me” can be a good coping skill. This is certainly not easy, but it will improve your relationships and mental health. When we honestly ask for forgiveness, we are able to feel a sense of unburdening. We are no longer held captive by guilt of what we did. Hopefully, a sense of peace will also come from their wrongdoings as well instead of resentment.

This does not mean that we will go through life without anger or hurt. When people wrong us, frustration and pain are normal. Forgiveness can be given and apologies made while feelings still linger. Still, saying that you are sorry can help to ease those emotions and leave less of a negative impact.

This week, someone really offended me. After trying to explain my situation and being rebuffed, I finally quietly apologized. My friend looked at me in surprise before sighting deeply. She admitted that her response was wrong and affirmed our friendship. That reaction would not have taken place if I had not admitted my own part in the problem (no matter how small my role was). Conflicts are two way; usually someone is not the source of the whole problem.

The next time that you desire any apology, I urge you to think about your own part in the issue. Then state your sorriness for that part that you had in the altercation. This coping skill might seem difficult, but it is vital to maintaining relationships.

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4 thoughts on “Coping Skills: #73. Apologize

  1. People often don’t owe up to their own wrongdoing. They often blame the whole world, including the victim, rather than accept responsibility for their own actions. It boils my blood when someone does something selfish and heartless, and then pretend he/she had noble reasons for this, that he meant well, when he so obviously didnt. My aspie traits make it impossible to accept such dishonesty.

    If you say you’re sorry first, that might make the other person accept responsibility for his own wrongdoing, which is an interesting point, and I might try it. Sometimes I’m wronged by a stupid bully, through no fault of my own, and in such instances, I will NOT apologize. However, next time I’m wronged, but it’s partly, even a small portion of the situation is my fault, I will owe up to my part in the mess-up first and will be the first one to apologize.

    • You are very right. Many times, it irks me that people refuse to be honest about what they do wrong. I have many problems, but owning up to my problems is something that I tend to do.

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