When was the last time you said to someone directly that you were sorry and meant it? It sounds terrifying, and that’s because it is.
Looking someone in the eye and apologising is one of the most vulnerable things a person can do. But it can also be the most liberating.
An apology can change your life.
If you are the person delivering the apology, admitting fault and opening yourself up can release feelings of shame, anxiety and anger. For the person receiving the apology, you can be validated and overcome with relief and comfort.
An apology is not simply a social cue we are expected to say after bumping into someone in the corridor. It is an important ritual in our society that we use to show empathy and respect to another individual and acknowledge their feelings.
While you might be tempted to simply continue an indiscretion without apologising, you are risking future harm to relationships and encouraging future misunderstandings.
While apologising can’t undo the harm that has been done, it has the power to create something we can grow and learn from. It is a door to forgiveness and a way of embracing our humanity, humility and empathy.
Sometimes, we need a little bit of extra help to understand how things were broken and how you can make them get better. Both individual relationship counselling and couples counselling are effective ways to help rebuild trust with someone. Just like your relationship, counselling is a commitment and a journey that, if approached honestly, can completely transform your life.
Ask yourself, who do you need to apologise to? It’s time to let go and move forward.