Heartfelt Apologies

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

–Nelson Mandela

A recent NY Times article explains how the right type of apology can be good medicine: The Right Way to Say ‘I’m Sorry’

An excerpt:

I admit to a lifetime of challenges when it comes to apologizing, especially when I thought I was right or misunderstood or that the offended party was being overly sensitive. But I recently discovered that the need for an apology is less about me than the person who, for whatever reason, is offended by something I said or did or failed to do, regardless of my intentions…

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 transgression. Forgiveness, should it come, may depend on a demonstration going forward that the offense will not be repeated…

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…

“Apology has the power to repair harm, mend relationships, soothe wounds and heal broken hearts. An apology actually affects the bodily functions of the person receiving it — blood pressure decreases, heart rate slows and breathing becomes steadier.”

Related blog posts:

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