The Power of Apologizing
Welcome to the first article of a four part course called, “Freeing Yourself From Mistakes and Pain: A Four Part Course On Apologizing and Emotional Freedom”. This first part shows you the powerful effect of apologizing.
To begin the course, what is your reaction to learning about apologizing and forgiveness? Take a few seconds to think about it.
You probably feel neutral and unexcited learning about apologizing and forgiveness like most people. You assume a shallow understanding of a powerfully deep topic. A closed mind literally steals your ability to grasp new information to change your life.
Why do people avoid learning about apologizing when it has tremendous benefits? People think like this for three reasons:
- They think they know how to apologize. Just like the many people who have yet to start learning effective communication skills, so are these people with apologizing. They think they have the necessary skills, but in reality their thoughts blind themselves from opportunities to improve their lives and relationships. When you say you know what is right, you use the number one technique to destroy learning: ignorance. You close your mind because it is too full to accommodate further information.
- They think it is irrelevant. These people think apologizing is not worth it and a waste of time to learn.
- They are too lazy. These people cannot be bothered to learn. Hopefully, you don’t fit in this category. But if you do, there is nothing I can do about it. It is your choice and your life. Don’t blame other people for the events in your life because of your decision to avoid responsibility for who you become.
These excuses to avoid emotional healing are sadly limiting because we always make mistakes. Mistake after mistake. It doesn’t stop. I’m not only talking about physical accidents, but mistakes we make with our relationships. We say things that hurt others. We can be ignorant in loving our family. We can be emotionally blind to those in need.
You Have Two Decisions Make
Take a momentary leap of faith to expand your awareness and grasp the powers of apologizing and forgiveness to free yourself from mistakes and pain. Accept a level of awareness and openness to change. Having done this, you have two decisions to make in dealing with your mistakes.
A successful apology is a radical movement from pain to empowerment.
First, you need reduction. You will never eliminate mistakes, but you can reduce the number by learning more about yourself and developing your communication like you’re doing with my newsletter, social skills blog, and this course. Characters in Soap Operas are the worst role models to follow to improve your communication because the characters continue to screw up, fight, make up, and repeat the process (it is drama after all). Communicate more effectively to avoid relationship blunders that create emotional pain.
Second, you need to cope. You will always make mistakes that hurt people. Learn to live with your mistakes as they will always exist. Coping can be ignorance or passive acceptance, but for our purpose it is learning to better manage ourselves with inevitable events.
This course focuses on the coping component of emotional healing because the first decision of reduction is an ongoing process achieved through continual learning. A successful apology is not just saying “sorry” – it is a radical movement from pain to empowerment.
What Happens When You Fail to Apologize
A large barrier faces each of us in emotional healing: the difficulty of an apology. We get ensnared in thoughts about ourselves by holding onto pride. We can be selfish and not willing to admit our most obvious mistakes. Pride eats away at us as we argue or, at the other end of the continuum, ignore the mistake to defend even an obvious wrongdoing. Pride ensnares us in its cage of lies as we defend our self-centered minds, ignoring guilt that would restore harmony.
I have been there. I had too much pride and selfishness to apologize to a loved one I hurt. When I did want to apologize, I couldn’t bring myself to face the person. The result was a hurt relationship and less happiness for me because I ignored the guilt that could have helped me apologize, seek forgiveness, and get emotional restoration.
Pride ensnares us in its cage of lies as we defend our self-centered minds.
In shifting the focus on apologizing away from you, what does avoiding an apology do to other people? They feel hurt that you are unwilling to communicate your mistake. They lose trust in you as you hide behind your mistake. They become angry towards you, wondering why you will not tell them the truth. They may begin to counter your lack of apologies by not apologizing themselves as the relationship goes downhill with the two of you caught in a power struggle.
Communicate your mistakes. Show your guilt. Tell the person how bad you feel. A mistake you make is like a scratch on the skin. By not apologizing you deepen the wound and rub salt into it. Stop hurting the other person and yourself, and learn to apologize. There is real power in apologizing and emotional healing.
9 Powerful Benefits in Apologizing
If you feel you have little reason to start apologizing already, here are more reasons and the amazing power of apologizing:
- The healing process begins when you apologize. This is the most powerful benefit of apologizing. People hold grudges and resentment against those who fail to apologize and admit their mistakes. By apologizing, you put yourself on the same wavelength as those hurt by your mistakes. You see the wrongdoing they see in you. Their resentment diminishes as they become more capable of moving on and freeing themselves from the past.
- While emotional healing in other people can be initiated from apologizing, it can also start self-healing. The next time you apologize, note how free it feels to admit your wrongdoing. It is liberating to free yourself from guilt that would plague you for days, weeks, and sometimes years. Don’t be a person whose past is a burden until the day you die.
- People are more likely to follow your actions when you admit your mistakes and reveal your weaknesses. Their courage builds to practice the power of an apology. They see it is the better choice to follow. Apologizing produces guilt in people for the better. They may become aware of their mistake, feel safe, then apologize.
- We are flawed. If we were cars, we would breakdown every 50 miles. Mistakes are inevitable regardless of your intentions to do good. Apologies are necessary to balance your life.
- If someone hurts you, it is justice to have them apologize to you. For some reason this is not the case when we hurt someone. The hurting person desires your sympathy as much as you desire their sympathy when they hurt you.
- Apologizing gives back what you took. You restore the victim’s feeling of worthiness and self-esteem. They no longer feel burdened nor responsible for your mistake. This benefit of apologizing is especially true in children.
- By having complete responsibility for your actions, you possess an enormous amount of self-control. You are no longer a victim of others. You stop blaming people for what you can control. You become your own person. You create your own destiny.
- A sincere apology shows effort in a relationship. It shows you care for the person. That’s an entire different approach to avoiding mistakes in an attempt to “secretly get by”. By not apologizing you sweep dirt under a rug. An avoided problem is likely to reappear and bite you when you least expect it at the worst possible time.
- You build courage and become a confident person. When apologizing and asking for forgiveness, you rise above the destructive compulsion to avoid remorse. You no longer cover your behavior; you bring your behavior into the light. Tough conversations take courage! Your new-found courage will roll into other areas of your life as you begin to address difficult issues you avoided in the past.
Who would have thought there is this many benefits in apologizing! In fact, there is a lot more power in emotional healing and freeing yourself from the past. Read the rest of this free course to receive the many powers of apologizing.
Links to all four parts of this course, “Freeing Yourself From Mistakes and Pain: A Four Part Course On Apologizing and Emotional Freedom”:
- The Power of Apologizing
- Barriers and Mistakes in Apologizing
- How to Correctly Apologize
- How to Forgive and Be Forgiven – The Art of Forgiveness
Joshua Uebergang aka "Tower of Power"
Joshua Uebergang, aka "Tower of Power", teaches social skills to help shy guys build friends and influence people. Visit his blog and sign-up free to get communication techniques, relationship-boosting strategies, and life-building tips by email, along with blog updates, and more! Go now to https://www.towerofpower.com.au/free/