The news is often filled with cringe-worthy apologies that make a leader or a politician lose even more favor. Saying things like, "I'm sorry if you were hurt," or "I am sorry people were offended," comes across as phony and insincere. Such non-apology apologies do nothing to remedy the situation.
Apologies are the Brussels sprouts of relationships. Research says they're good for us, and, like a dinner of the green stuff after a lunch of burger and fries, they can erase or at least mitigate the ill effects of a transgression.
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.
We've all been hurt by other people. You've also hurt people yourself. Whether the transgression was accidental or intentional, it hurts. Sometimes a loss of trust like this is temporary and can be healed. Other times, it leaves long-term scars, discord, and irreparable damage that ultimately ends the relationship.
In order to show your sincerity when apologizing, you must be honest and vulnerable. That can lead to the cultivation of meaningful relationships. It can also lead to rejection, which is what makes it so scary.
When you apologize, be willing to share openly and candidly, allowing emotions to flow freely, so that you can be fully seen.