The art of the mindful apology
We all cause harm to our partner and the intimacy between us. We make mistakes that are foolish and unintentional and sometimes launch attacks on purpose.
When you wound another, apologize. Don't ignore the mistakes. When you inflict wounds, they can accumulate. Unacknowledged wounds can build a wall between you.
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The content of an apology is only half the battle. The delivery matters as well. If you mumble, avert eye contact, or stand in the corner with your arms crossed, it won’t matter what you say.
No matter how much damage was done, a sincere apology restores faith.
Saying you’re sorry is uncomfortable. It can be hard to admit your shortcomings and acknowledge your mistakes. But taking responsibility is the key to restoring trust.
Apologies bring us face-to-face with the fact that we have something to apologize for, triggering a sense of guilt and shame.
Saying sorry puts one’s shameful beha...
When people focus on their core values, they seem to become more willing to sincerely apologize.
By understanding the many barriers to an apology— the indifference to another’s pain or the fraying of a relationship—we can glimpse what’s holding us back from saying “I’m sorry” in a particular situation.
From there, we have the opportunity to change course and let the healing begin.
A high-quality apology has three elements:
An apology is one of the most profound interactions two human beings can have with one another.
Research by Lazare and others suggests effective apologies—meaning those that are accepted by ...
When people make the common mistake of saying they’re sorry too quickly, they can miss a crucial step towards reconciliation.
If someone commits a serious transgression, it’s best to apologize only after the victim has had a chance to “yell and vent” and fully process the betrayal.
Apologies that come too late, like those that come too early, are likely to fail; the sweet spot is somewhere between the two.
You should be more focused on the other person, making sure they really believe that you get what you did wrong. Without that emphasis on the other person’s emotional state—and the promise of change—an apology sounds insincere.