how to apologize

Yesterday’s article, “Sorry? Only Say It If You Mean It,” elicited some good thinking and rambling. Like this from White Hot reader, “S”, who said:

“… A sister has stopped speaking to me ‘unless I apologize.’ I could say I’m sorry just to have her back in my life and to soothe things over, but it would be a sell-out. It has been her pattern to “create” victimhood in her life, giving her a reason to always be angry. I am breaking my lifelong habit of enabling her.”

“I demand an apology!”

If you have to demand it, is it really worth receiving?

As I said to S., forced apologies are kind of like nice plastic. Shiny, maybe even useful, but ultimately, just trash.

For a long time, I wanted an official kind of apology from my husband for some jerk-like tendencies he was trying out on me. It was pretty typical Mars/Venus stuff. I wanted a demonstration of groveling to make things all right and copacetic. Which, of course, made me the total jerk.

A friend said to me, “Is it really necessary that he says he’s sorry?” Hmmm…I had to think about that one. If my priority was groovy-hot-happy-love, then, well, I suppose lording the “you must apologize” flag over his head wasn’t going to get me what I really wanted. We were making strides, even without the fanfare of a big I’m sorry. I let it go. It was a big shifter for us.

HOW TO APOLOGIZE:

 

  • Say it with your body:

 

Arms uncrossed, looking someone in the eyes, leaning toward them. You are not there to protect yourself or get something in return. This is not about you. You are there to give … to give comfort, assurance, and some salve for the wound you may have inflicted. An apology is an offering.

 

  • Take full responsibility:

 

Explain yourself very briefly, without being defensive or without taking up too much space: “I was under a lot of pressure and it screwed up my better judgment. Still, it’s no excuse.”

 

  • Express your remorse:

 

It’s simple, “I feel awful.” “I didn’t sleep last night.”

 

  • Empathize:

 

“I can only assume that you were hurt or confused. It must suck.”

 

  • Invite their response.

 

This is where many apologies can go south, when the hurt person says, “Yah, you totally screwed up, you’re a goof, and your mother dresses you funny.” Naturally, you may want to sling it back or retract even your best laid mea culpa. But just take a deep breath. You may have to endure a few pot shots and some venting – that is part of reconciliation.

 

  • Commit to preventing it in the future.

 

“From now on, I’ll include you in my decision making, I don’t want to have this happen again.”

 

  • Expect nothing in return.

 

Apologizing and asking for forgiveness are two separate things. Apologizing is like leaving a gift on the doorstep and hoping it’s appreciated. Expecting to be forgiven is like asking someone to say thank you for the gift.

True apologies are freely given with no expectations of a return.

related posts
Desire Map Online Video Course

Let’s hold hands — all the way to your Core Desired Feelings. The Desire Map ONLINE VIDEO COURSE is finally real

I got together with Cody App to produce this and it’s beautifully and logically laid out. Every module is accompanied by printable worksheets. You can go through the course on your own, or with a group of friends. You can do it in a weekend, or you can meander with it over a few weeks. Your call.

Meditation Space Danielle LaPorte

My commit-phobia + Meditation. Relate? (and last call…meditation class starts Nov 15.)

With a full I heart, I invite you to join me for THE CREATION SPACE Meditation. 5 call-in sessions for some connection and devotion. I’ll guide you through a different visualization, meditation, mantra, or prayer each morning (and for one evening), in a live phone class.

Creation Space Meditation

Spiritual mutts and quilts of devotion. Can you relate?

Calling all spiritual mutts…registration for my CREATION SPACE Meditation Class is open right now and closes very soon!

Pleasure-is-power

Your pleasure is your power…here’s how to get there, a few hours at a time.

When you’re in your pleasure you think more clearly, you’re more efficient, you’re most certainly more creative, and you’re more loving. Your pleasure states are good for your immune system.

Creation Space Meditation

Call me. Let’s meditate. For the seasoned, the newbies, the devoted, and the meditation-curious.

The Creation Meditation. Here’s the vibe: Emerald green flowing nutrients. Lavish healing. Gracefully forming and effortlessly growing. Luminous.

CONSCIOUS gratitude

CONSCIOUS gratitude (as in SMART gratitude. Rather than the spiritual bypassing kind of gratitude that can actually screw you up).

Gratitude changes your brain chemistry. Proven. Happy brain chemicals mean that you’ve got more clarity and courage. Proven. There are zero downsides to making gratitude part of your wellness practice.

Recommitting to sisterly love@2x 456x456

Recommitting to sisterly love. (Because women wounding other women won’t get us where we need to go.)

Good things come to those who… hold out. Holding out requires a sacred, almost superhuman degree of focus—mystical muther freaking prowess.

Danielle-LaPorte-Stop-Doing-Free-and-clear

Stop Doing. (AKA Detangling, Liberating, and Facing Some Gnarly Terror.) Your next FREE & CLEAR exercise is here.

Enter: THE STOP DOING LIST. Prepare for massive relief. I tend to stay away from big self-help claims, but this is potentially life changing. Or at least sanity-saving. I’m excited for you.

Danielle-LaPorte-Want-To-Change-Free and clear

What needs to change? (And how to look at what sucks in your life without criticizing yourself.)

There’s a layer of psychological refinement that we’re adding to this. You’re going to look at what needs to change WITHOUT laying a guilt or judgement trip on yourself (or anyone else).

Danielle-LaPorte-Free-and-Clear-Letting-Go

Examining our expectations and what it means to deeply let go.

Whether you need to perform major surgery on your commitments, or you need to just blow some shit up and walk away, healthy letting go requires mindfulness. So let’s really feel and think this through to get you free and clear.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This