Apologizing to Our Friends and Loved Ones
By Royane Real
In every relationship there will be occasional misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Sometimes we are the one who hurt another person; sometimes we are the one who has been hurt. Sometimes both people have become very angry at each other, or both feel hurt.
Hurt feelings can be the result of a slip of the tongue, a misunderstanding, or a deed committed in bad judgment. Sometimes feelings are hurt deliberately in the heat of anger and regretted later.
If we were the guilty party, we might regret what we said the instant we let the hurtful remark out of our mouths. We might want to apologize right away, but some of us find apologizing about anything extremely difficult, almost impossible.
Sometimes the reason we don't apologize is because we are convinced that the other person totally deserved our angry outburst.
Sometimes the reason we don't apologize is because we have absolutely no idea that we hurt the other person. And sometimes we apologize very profusely, but we don't really mean it.
When you sincerely apologize to a friend, it means that you regret causing the other person emotional pain, and you want to work on repairing the friendship.
If you have said or done something that hurt your friend, it is important to acknowledge your friend's painful emotions. You can say something like, "I'm so sorry you feel hurt because of what I said. I didn't mean to hurt you. Let's talk about what happened."
In some relationships, hurt feelings and problems are never dealt with. Instead, they get "wept under the rug". These relationships may look polite on the surface and they may even be long-lived, but they are not really very intimate.
There is no deep sharing between the two people and there is no ability to be honest.
If one, or both of you, are feeling very angry with the other, put off your in-depth discussion until both of you are to be calm and levelheaded. But apologize to your friend sincerely as soon as you can.
Once an apology for a particular incident has been extended and accepted, don't visit old battles the next time you have a disagreement. Take care of each incident as it comes up and don't nurse old resentments.
About the author:
This article by Royane Real is taken from her new book "How You Can Have All the Friends You Want - Your Complete Guide to Finding Friends, Making Friends, and Keeping Friends".