As a mother of four, I get to repeat myself.
Children (and adults) tend to make the same mistakes over and over again till they learn whatever lesson it is they need to learn. This apology conversation is one I’ve had on numerous occasions, sometimes even screaming it at the top of my voice to try to make myself heard.
I’m not sure screaming it was any more effective but it released some of my pent-up frustration, lol. The child in question probably switched off completely, mind!
An apology in and of itself is WORTHLESS.
A SINCERE apology is positively nauseating.
And don’t even bother talking about how bad you feel or how sorry you are that you made me feel bad.
Apologies are worth NOTHING.
Because all an apology does is say you feel bad about what happened and you feel bad that you made the other person feel bad.
What difference does that make except to assuage your guilt for acting like a complete idiot?
So you’re sorry?
Do you want to know what’s missing?
What’s missing is you telling me how you’re going to behave in the future to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
What’s missing is you telling me what I can count on you for from here on in.
What’s missing is you telling me that you are going to do your very best to make sure this never happens again – no excuses – and how you want me to hold you to account if it does happen again.
What’s also missing is you understanding what the IMPACT is on you, me AND our relationship
And also what the consequences are from this happening.
Yes, you’ve hurt me, yes you feel bad but really? Do you really understand the impact on you, me and our relationship? Do you really understand what the future likely holds as a result of this? Is that what you really want?
There are THREE parts to a TRUE apology:
The TWO parts of a SINCERE apology give me no indication that anything is going to change in the future, it holds no real promise that it will never happen again.
All a true apology does is tell me how bad you’re feeling and you wish you hadn’t done it.
I wish you hadn’t done it, too.
Wishing doesn’t make a difference.
Feeling bad doesn’t make a difference.
Being responsible, taking ownership and creating the future do.
Oh, and don’t do the whole “well, I’ll take myself somewhere else and never see you again so I can make sure this doesn’t happen in the future” thing, either because all it’s going to do is follow you to your next relationships until you get the lesson.
You can’t run away from life: it’s going to follow you wherever you go. Don’t bother trying to run away: the longer you leave learning the lesson, the more painful it’s going to be.
So ‘fess up, (wo)man up, look life in the eye and OWN it. Stop pretending it wasn’t you and you couldn’t help it. Yes it was and yes you could. Now you’re sorry. If you don’t want to be sorry again tomorrow, you’d better think of another way of behaving.
Where have you been doing this in your life, apologising for the same thing over and over again?
Maybe it’s time to take responsibility, take ownership & create something different before it’s too late.