Thursday, June 2, 2011

"Apologize ..."

"I'm holding on your rope, 
Got me ten feet off the ground
I'm hearin what you say but I just can't make a sound
You tell me that you need me 
Then you go and cut me down, but wait
You tell me that you're sorry
Didn't think I'd turn around, and say..."

~ OneRepublic ~ Apologize ~ 

My last post I talked about the Five Love Languages.  After more researching, I found that there are Five Languages of Apology.  How IMPORTANT is this considering since we have become experts in wronging each other.  When we blame others, we give up our power and when we give up our power, there is little to no chance of resolution.  Saying I'm sorry isn't just a matter of will, it is a matter of how we say sorry.

So what makes up how we say we are sorry?  Well, the Five Languages of Apology are: Expressing Regret, Accepting Responsibility, Making Restitution, Genuinely Repent, and Requesting Forgiveness.  

Expressing Regret
The admission of guilt and shame for the pain we have caused someone else.  For some, the words "I'm sorry" is all they need to accept the apology.  It is direct, requires no other action and doesn't try to deflect blame.  It is a powerful language when used authentically, reflecting sincerity.

Accepting Responsibility
Admission of being wrong is difficult for many of us, as it makes us doubt ourselves and feel like failures.  Yet accepting responsibility can be sufficient for those we have hurt.  Saying "I am wrong" tells others we are able to overcome our larger "self" and admit our fault.  Owning your mistakes, showing your vulnerability and setting aside your ego displays sincerity in our apology.

Make Restitution
Some feel that for sincere apologies, actions should be justified.  Demonstrating the apology such as flowers, a card, a grand expression of regret can help.  Strong efforts to make amends are required for those that believe in this type of language.  Assurance of love, respect and desire to right your wrong are welcomed.

Genuinely Repent
This language displays not only a sincere apology but the desire to modify behaviour to avoid the situation in the future.  This stems from the heart in order to truly change.  A glimpse of true self, showing vulnerability, the desire to change and a plan to make it happen is assurance to those that accept this language of apology.

Request Forgiveness
For some, a verbal request for forgiveness is wanted.  Assurance that forgiveness is recognized and they are still loved.  Requesting forgiveness is also requesting the relationship to be fully restored, because you are proving that you truly sorry for what has occurred.  Also, you are wiling to put the future of the relationship in the hands of the other person, leaving the final decision to them - forgive or not to forgive.  Not an easy situation because you are opening yourself to rejection, or alternatively an opportunity to grow and heal from the situation regardless of the outcome.

It is important to understand that forgiveness should not be treated lightly.  
It is precious and needs to be cherished and appreciated.  
The act of forgiveness is hard on both sides 
~ for the person who is asking and for the person who is accepting.  
Try remembering that and practicing empathy when you next opportunity for forgiveness arises.

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