No one ever said that being in a relationship is easy, however, the benefits of being in a loving relationship are monumental, so it’s important to know how to deal with issues when they come up and not just run away from conflict. Sometimes in relationships we feel upset or we upset our partner- it happens because we are all human. Even if you didn’t mean to hurt the other person, it is important to apologize authentically in order to maintain that connection and trust.
When we receive an apology, negative energy is released and we can get rid of those yucky feelings of anger and resentment- we are more willing to forgive. We let our defenses down which leaves more room for the organic, seamless flow of love between us and our partner.
Here are some tips for apologizing authentically:
1. Make sure that your apology is sincere. When you apologize it will be evident if you aren’t being sincere, so do your best to apologize from your heart. It can help to have a conversation with your partner about what they need from you with regards to an apology, i.e. what they’d appreciate you apologizing for.
2. Don’t use words like ‘if’ or ‘that’. Ex. I’m sorry if you feel that way. I’m sorry that you feel that way. Those words negate the meaning of an apology and in some ways put the blame on the person who is upset. It can actually come off as condescending and sound like you are mocking or judging the other person. It’s more productive to validate how the person is feeling whether or not you understand why they are upset; that way they will know that you genuinely care about their feelings, about their well-being and about their level of joy and peace in the relationship.
3. True apologies acknowledge and show accountability for what actions caused the harm. Ex. I apologize for not helping out earlier. When you are apologizing, try not to make it sounds vague and try to not make it sound like you are apologizing just to appease the other person. Really help your partner understand that you mean your apology by specifically naming what you did that bothered them, and if you feel inclined, let them know that you will do your best to not let it happen again. This affirms that the quality of your relationship and bond is a priority for you. It’s always better to take ownership of our behaviors and our apologies- it’s actually extremely empowering, and to the person you are apologizing to it can be incredibly attractive that you are evolved and mature enough to apologize…. Hey, you never know- your apology just might turn into make-up sex… it happens sometimes- it would definitely not be the first time!
4. A real apology should be made to someone whether or not the actions were intentional or unintentional. We all make mistakes – we are human. There is nothing wrong with owning up to something if we screw up once in a while. We are always doing the best that we can and sometimes that “best” can end up hurting someone we love. If you love and respect yourself, and love and respect your partner and the sacredness of your relationship, you will want to show them that the strength and bond of your relationship is more important than your desire to withhold an apology. In authentic love, we truly look out for our partner’s happiness, so keep that in mind when contemplating an apology.
If you’d like some inspiration, here are a few examples of a genuine apology:
“I didn’t mean to hurt you, but I can see that you are upset so I’m truly sorry.”
“The last thing that I EVER want to do is to hurt you. I love you. I can do better next time and try to watch what comes out of my mouth. I need to calm down when I’m upset before we start talking.”
“You are so important to me. I hate seeing you upset and I sincerely am sorry for my actions/words. I hope you can forgive me. You mean everything to me.”
As you can see, a sincere apology is priceless. A meaningful apology is crucial in maintaining and building a strong relationship. It can actually be a huge marker of growth in yourself and in the relationship as a whole. The more you apologize, the less opportunities will arise that need an apology- think about it, when we apologize or get apologized to, it enhances the strength and bond in the relationship, taking it to another level. Happy apologies!