“An apology is the superglue of life. It can repair just about anything.” -Lynn Johnston
Keep this in mind when you think about the power of your apology.
Apologies can fix a lot of issues in life when you are willing to give them. It can be the difference between having and losing friendships, relationships, jobs, families, and a host of other things.
What makes up a real apology from you? Dave Willis shares in the picture below, and I will go into depth on these five requirements.
- Freely admitting fault. To freely admit fault is not easy for people to do generally because people do not want to be the cause of anything that goes wrong. The reality is that we all have been the cause of failure, hurt, pain, and loss at some point in our lives. When you freely admit to what you have done, it allows for people to see that you understand what you have done and it gives them a chance learn from it.
- Fully accepting responsibility. One reason why people do not want to accept responsibility is because they fear of the consequences that may come. The reality is that you have to face the consequences, whether you choose to do it now or later. When you admit to accepting responsibility for your actions, it shows people that you are willing to accept the consequences that will come from the mistake or fault that was made.
- Humbly asking for forgiveness. Just because you did something wrong does not mean you cannot ask for forgiveness. Instead of being arrogant about the situation, let the situation humble you to where you can ask for forgiveness for what you have done and understand the effect that your mistake or error had on a person or situation.
- Immediately changing behavior. It is one thing to admit fault, accept responsibility, and ask for forgiveness, but if you do not change your behavior, it your apology means NOTHING! It is important to change your behavior and show people that you have truly learned from your mistakes by your actions. By changing your behavior, you show people that your apology actually means SOMETHING!
- Actively rebuilding trust. This is something that can take some time depending on the situation. You cannot be mad because someone does not start trusting you right away because they have to still work through the hurt and pain that you have caused. If you rebuild that trust through your words and actions, you will be doing your part in fixing the relationship or relationship that was damaged.
As you can see there is a lot to the apology process, but if you are able to apply these five principles in your apology, you will be able to fix a lot of the issues you have caused in your life. Do not worry about when someone will forgive you because you cannot control that. Just focus on doing your part in apologizing and allow for them to forgive and trust you in their own time. Let’s remember that your apology can fix a lot of things, but if you are not freely admitting your fault, fully accepting responsibility, humbly asking for forgiveness, immediately changing behavior, nor actively rebuilding trust, you cannot fix anything in your life!
I want to ask you two simple questions, and feel free to comment or answer below.
- What have you apologized for in your life?
- How have you changed since that apology?
-Michael J. Fite