Community//

How Apologies are Life-lines to our Humanness and Connection

A pure apology invites the best in ourselves and others, shifting us from managing our image, our upsets, to owning our impact.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

People have all sorts of opinions about apologies. Ali MacGraw’s Jenny, says to Ryan O’Neill’s Oliver in Love Story, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”  I understand the sentiment, but add—love thrives from having the windows opened. A sincere, neat apology lets the air circulate in and between people. Even when love isn’t involved, there is freshness. Our hearts and spirits know when an “I’m sorry” is due and sing when we speak or receive one.

Apologizing is not weak. It does ask for openness and that feels damn vulnerable some times. Vulnerability takes courage. Once we hit that ball of an apology across the net, we don’t know what, if anything, is coming back over. But we know from the wonderful press vulnerability receives, that it is the doorway to greater connection and intimacy. Not just with others, but ourselves. When we cozy up with ourselves, we honor our true, inner promptings and what others need to be whole.

Apologizing can be so hard though! We get caught up on worrying about looking bad, being right, protecting ourselves. Yes, apologizing puts aside our own annoyances and hurts, acknowledges our own fallibility, but it also removes the debris and noise of the ego. An apology shakes off pride and shame and allows us to say “Hello, there messy and marvelous human!” and “I’m sorry.” It is a gentle kiss to self “as is” and an empathetic embrace of another. Self-compassion replaces self-competition. We abandon the need to be seen as…well…perfect.  We get ok with imperfect. Authenticity gets permission to show up and we become more present and understanding, better at avoiding the missteps that need apologizing.

Keeping apologies simple grants them full impact. Without reasons attached, an apology is heard, felt. The person receiving it, seen. Attaching an explanation to what caused us to be late, say the wrong thing, lose our patience, to be less than was needed, waters down even the most heart-felt apologies. It’s good to remember further discussions can always be had about patterns, triggers, dynamics, our feelings. Those moments will come and they will be all the more satisfying since the opening brought by our openness will let light come in.

How are you at apologizing?  Is there an apology in you waiting to be spoken–to yourself (my guess is we each owe ourselves a few apologies) or another?

If you would like to create from your authentic, marvelous, messy self, to live a personal and professional life that is happily yours, connect with me at [email protected] or through my website www.agoodlife.coach or instagram @agoodlife.adele.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    How to Apologize to Your Spouse Sincerely | Pete Uglow
    Community//

    How to Apologise to Your Spouse Sincerely

    by Pete Uglow
    fizkes / Shutterstock
    Wisdom//

    A Peaceful Family Thanksgiving Could Begin With an Overdue Apology — Yours!

    by Dr. Michelle Golland
    WAYHOME studio / Shutterstock
    Wisdom//

    Stop Over Apologizing

    by Tiffany Dyba

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.