October 30: National Forgiveness Day
Relationships: the Art of Forgiveness
How many times have you apologized in your relationship? Were you sincere or were you just stating cold and indifferent sentences to get by? There is an art to forgiveness. Many couples continue to argue about the same issues. It is important to resolve the issues, and if that isn’t possible, adopt an agreement. The agreement can be as simple as we agree to disagree on this issue. Then as a couple, you move forward. You don’t fight again on this “resolved” issue. You should state your apology and move forward. And yes, everyone agrees makeup sex is the best. However, a sincere apology, as listed below, should be given.
In this day and age of over-litigation, people are afraid to say, “I am sorry“. However, the act of taking responsibility and being sympathetic with another should be the norm, not the rare event. After experiencing a bad or sad event people need human compassion. I believe many lawsuits would be avoided if this practice was followed more often. Several states have enacted, “I’m sorry” laws covering areas such as medical malpractice situations, and in other states they apply such laws to all civil actions.
A universal standard apology will not get to the heart of the matter. For example” Dear John, I am sorry my actions “MAY” have hurt you.” Even if the “may have hurt you” is replaced with “…did hurt you”. Such an “apology” turns the matter back against the recipient, suggesting that the recipient is overly sensitive to the hurtful actions of the apologizer, and is, in effect, not an apology at all. A bad apology may be worst than none.
The most effective apology is to simply and directly say, “I am sorry for (your actions that caused the hurt, pain or damage) that resulted in (your hurt, pain or damage).” The next statement is should set out what steps are being taken or have been taken to prevent this type of action from happening in the future. The closing statement should be a statement that unites the forgiver and the forgiven.
In spite of today’s multi-media options, don’t forward your apology by fax, e-mail or phone text. I believe that the old fashion way of news delivery is best. Therefore, use stationery to hand write your note, or make a phone to call the person, not his voicemail, or better yet, tell him in person.