Just the simple little words “I’m sorry” can be incredibly powerful to the person who receives them. Yet, some people don’t even know how to say them. I’ve experienced first hand relationships absent of those simple words. One person believes they are right about most things, and just brushes off the things they are wrong about as if they are no big deal. Never even thinking how it may affect the other person. The other person doesn’t apologize for the things they do wrong, because that would be unfair. It wouldn’t be balanced. Yet, the scale is already tipped by the person who always thinks they are right about everything. Anger erupts and quite possibly resentment.
But, the only thing that is needed is a simple understanding that were all not perfect, and we all make mistakes. I apologize in my relationships, and then the problem vanishes into thin air. POOF! Right before things get blown out of proportion. The person receiving the apology quickly forgives and forgets. When both parties can apologize right away, every time, a strong bond is created, and over time it grows. There’s a mutual understanding that we both make mistakes, quite possibly just as many. And although we are imperfect, we can view ourselves as perfect. Our ability to apologize removes our imperfections. We can easily accept the others apologies, because we know the same respect will be given when we make mistakes. We are then complete equals. Just as perfect and just as imperfect.
So Easy. Right? So, why is this so hard for people to do? Do people just have too much pride? Do people just like feeling in control of everything? Do people just like to view themselves as someone who knows more then others? I can’t say I would have an easy time apologizing to someone I don’t respect. But, by not being able to apologize to people you certainly don’t show them respect.
I also don’t agree with parents who think because they are the adult, they are superior, and therefore they don’t need to apologize when they mess up. By not apologizing to their kids when they mess up, they are teaching their kids the wrong lesson. A kid can learn a lot from a parents apology. They learn that even parents are not perfect, they mess up too. They learn to be more confident and independent because the parent shows they are not superior. They develop a respect for the adults in their life. They understand what is acceptable behavior for a parent, by the parent admitting they made a mistake. A parent is a role model.
When I was growing up, I was just taking notes on everything not to do when I became an adult or quite possibly a parent. I learned a great deal about what not to do. I never felt respected. In church the pastor said, “As role models for our kids we always think about how we treat each other in our marriage, so that our kids will know what is acceptable when they get married.”
I wish more people looked at it that way. I tested the murky waters of admitting I was hurt by something one of my parents did, and it’s been over a week with no apology. It’s still never too late to apologize. It shows respect.