“Just as imperfect as I am
Acknowledging that I’m human
Erring consciously lingers
Whispers in my subconscious
Nudging me to dance to its tune
In my imperfectness I fume
And I fume… and I…
My apology and I…!”
“All of a sudden an ‘outrageous bang’ right before my eyes! What do you want was all she asked in bended knees with clasped hands and tears-logged-eyes. Unimaginably I pounced… She never did wrong but was declared guilty and sentenced to life in torture accompanied with hidden scars for love… I had the opportunity to be apologetic even though life was too short! I never saw it coming. She died! I couldn’t say I was sorry for all I did! The haunt, my misery!” _Anonymous
That’s just a tip of an iceberg of regrettable lifestyles that still exist today. The word SORRY has made and mar lots of friendships, homes, situations and even our daily interactions with people near or far. Some of us find it difficult to utter the word, some say it from their hearts, while some use it to cajole. What’s the essence of accepting such apologetic word when we go back to hurting as often than necessary thereby making it look like it’s in our habit to want to hurt and be apologetic about it anytime we feel? I call it an APOLOGETIC ABUSE! In as much as no one is seen as perfect, we should learn not to be seen as Joy-killers. It doesn’t matter who says it first. All we should be concerned with should be to be careful with our daily living and try as much to avoid being involved in situations of tendering recurring sorry!
According to dictionary.com, the word ‘sorry’ connotes a feeling of regret, compunction, sympathy or pity. So when you say ‘I am sorry’, it means an expression of sympathy for a particular person or group, a regret of an action or an expression of sorrow for having done something wrong.
To err is human, but sometimes a small word like sorry is all that is required to make up. Most people say “I’m sorry” many times a day for a host of trivial affronts – accidentally bumping into someone or failing to hold open a door. These apologies are easy and usually readily accepted, often with a response like, “No problem or it’s okay.” But when “I’m sorry” are the words needed to right truly hurtful words, acts or inaction, they can be the hardest ones to utter. And even when an apology is offered with the best of intentions, it can be seriously undermined by the way in which it is worded. Instead of eradicating the emotional pain the affront caused, a sickly worded apology can result in lasting anger and antagonism and undermine an important relationship.
Harriet lerner said “When ‘but’ is tagged on to an apology, it becomes an excuse that counters the sincerity of the original message.” The best apologies are short and don’t include explanations that can undo them. Nor should a request for forgiveness be part of an apology. The offended party may accept a sincere apology but still be unready to forgive the fault. Forgiveness, should it come, may depend on a demonstration going forward that the offense will not be repeated. “It’s not our place to tell anyone to forgive or not to forgive,” Dr. Lerner disputes popular thinking that failing to forgive is bad for one’s health and can lead to a life mired in bitterness and hate.
Offering an apology is an admission of guilt that admittedly leaves people vulnerable. There’s no guarantee as to how it will be received. It is the prerogative of the injured party to reject an apology, even when sincerely offered. The person may feel the offense was so enormous to forgive nor forget.
Making an apology by John Pellowe
Given the above, and assuming you have wronged someone, a good apology needs to include the following elements:
* Admit that you recognize the wrong that was done and express regret for it.
* Acknowledge your part in the wrong. Do not talk about the other person’s responsibility (if there is any) for the wrong. Don’t make excuses (“When you said…, that made me…”). Never ever say “But…” Own your behaviour. No matter what the provocation, if you wronged someone, that was your choice. Don’t put any blame on the other person. Leave it to them to decide whether or not they will apologize for their part (if any).
* Suggest how you can make things right and restore the relationship.
Ask for forgiveness.
* Mend your ways so you don’t need to apologize a second time for the same behaviour!
I would put it this way: Drop the ego, accept your wrong, ask for forgiveness and be good.