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  • Writer's pictureAimee Isabel

Sorry Not Sorry: The Importance of Learning How to Apologize Properly

It's unfortunate that we aren't traditionally taught how to apologize, and this has led to a social problem where many people don't know how to properly take responsibility for their actions.

Apologizing is a crucial aspect of healthy relationships, and without it, misunderstandings and hurt can fester and grow. Yet, many of us struggle with apologizing because we simply don't know how to do it properly.

This lack of education on how to apologize has led to a culture of avoidance, deflection, and half-hearted apologies. It's become all too easy to dismiss someone's feelings with a simple "I'm sorry" without taking any real ownership of our actions.

The good news is that it's never too late to learn how to apologize properly. By acknowledging the harm we've caused, expressing genuine remorse, and making amends where possible, we can start to heal relationships and build deeper connections with those around us.

It's important to recognize that apologizing isn't a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength and integrity. It takes courage to admit when we're wrong and to take steps to make things right.

I recently had to apologize to a women that came to one of my Women's Circles. She left feeling silenced and unable to express herself. She bravely messaged me to see if she could express herself to me.

I prepared myself with grounding for the call sensing that it was a grievance.

I listened and empathized. I took responsibility. I accepted what I did and it that it hurt her feelings.

Hurting someone's feelings does not make YOU the bad person. It makes you the one taking responsibility.

I did not blame, deflect, ignore, bypass.

We discussed more about what actions I could do next time to ensure that I don't repeat the same mistakes.

We discussed ways in which I could be more inclusive and inviting.

It's a big deal to be able to-- not defend yourself when someone says you hurt them. Is that your go to? Do you deny their feelings because you are experiencing shame around your actions? Are you willing to take responsibility for your actions?

Continue reading to hear more and learn steps you can take to make an apology LAND.

I wanted to share my recent experience with apologies. It's been a tough week over here where I've received multiple half-hearted apologies, without proper acknowledgement of the hurt caused by them.

One particular incident that stood out was when I planned a community postpartum Closing of the Bones Ceremony, which was being offered for free. Unfortunately, the one person who was supposed to join us and receive the blessing didn't show up. When I reached out to them, they replied with a simple "oh, I forgot" text.

I was left feeling disappointed and let down.

After expressing my feelings to my friends, who did show up to the ceremony, we had a discussion about the importance of acknowledging our actions and how to apologize properly. We talked about the impact our actions have on others and how important it is to take responsibility.

So, what is the proper way to apologize and take responsibility?

1. ACKNOWLEDGE: It's crucial to acknowledge the harm caused. It's important to understand how your actions have affected the other person and show that you understand the impact. These ceremonies that I host are not just put together on a whim. It takes planning, time, effort, money. I have two children and I schedule my events around childcare. I love doing events and creating beauty and it's effort that needs to be received.

2. EMPATHY: Express genuine remorse. A heartfelt apology goes a long way in showing that you truly care about the other person's feelings. It's important to communicate that you understand the hurt caused and that you're sorry for it. Showing empathy is a big win in my book. If you can extend your perspective to include mine, you're GOLD.

3. MAKE AMENDS: Make amends where possible. Depending on the situation, this could mean anything from offering a sincere apology to taking concrete steps to rectify the situation. Whatever it may be, it's important to show that you're committed to making things right. The effort scales get balanced here and the relationship returns to a state of balance and harmony.

In conclusion, taking responsibility for our actions is an important aspect of building healthy relationships. It's essential to acknowledge the harm caused, express genuine remorse and make amends where possible. By doing so, we can build deeper connections with the people in our lives and show that we value them.

And right now, I'm only interested in nourishing my relationships. So if you mess up, make an effort to apologize wholeheartedly. I practice all the time with my kiddos. We can practice together, too. And I'll do my best to apologize to you, too.

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