Life

The Power of an Apology - why it is Brave, not Weak

16th May 2018

When it comes to relationships, apologising can be one of the hardest things to do. Saying “sorry” can be seen as a sign of weakness.


However, we all make mistakes from time to time (because after all, we are only human) and there are instances where apologising can be a brave move to make and help with the healing process of a relationship.

One of the biggest examples of this is Sorry Day, which falls annually on 26 May. It is a day that holds special significance to the indigenous people of Australia, as it recognises the Stolen Generation of children who were forcibly removed from their homes.

On the day, there are a wide range of events you can partake in from morning teas to barbeques and reconciliation walks.

If you’re thinking about apologising to someone, here are some of the benefits that could help give you the incentive you need:

Apologising can get rid of any stress or guilt you’re feeling

Whether it’s an argument with a family member, or a friend, what can often happen when no apology is made, is the guilt can eat away at you. You may think about the words that were spoken, and find it difficult to get the situation out of your head.

But what you may find, as soon as those “I’m sorry” words are spoken, the stress and guilt will be alleviated and you can both move on.

It can reduce the chances of the same disagreement happening again

Being able to humble yourself and apologise, if you were the person who was in the wrong, may deter you from making the same mistakes in the future.

This will be a win for yourself, as you will become a better person and valuable to those around you, as you won’t find yourself in their bad books.

Apologising can also improve the way people see you

Apologising can also change the way your family members or friends look at you. Their perception of you could be damaged, especially if the disagreement had a much more significant effect on their wellbeing.

Once you apologise, you’re no longer the person who hurt them, instead you’re the person that was humble enough to rebuild the relationship.

But how do I go about it?

Of course, when it comes to apologising, it can be difficult to know the right words to say or approach to take. A study by the Ohio State University that included 755 participants, found the following elements were the most effective when apologising:

  1. Expression of regret
  2. Explanation of what went wrong
  3. Acknowledgment of responsibility
  4. Declaration of repentance
  5. Offer of repair
  6. Request for forgiveness

While no one’s perfect and relationships can be tricky to navigate, the important thing to remember is apologising can be an empowering and brave thing to do, not a weak action to take with your loved ones.

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