By Pam Dewey • apologizing, saying sorry, apologizing and relationships, apologizing is good for you, mental health, mental health and apologizing, mental health and relationships • November 24, 2021
We all make mistakes. And many times, these mistakes affect others in our lives. Maybe you mispronounced your new coworker’s name, were late meeting a deadline at work or forgot your sister’s birthday. It’s possible you had no intention to upset someone, but you did anyway. Or perhaps you said something hurtful to your partner during an argument.
While saying the wrong thing or messing up is perfectly normal, how you react can make all the difference. Rather than blaming the person who is upset, consider that your actions caused hurt and apologize. Apologizing for your mistakes will not only benefit your relationships; it’s also good for your mental health and wellbeing. Here is how and why you should apologize.
Apologize in the right way
There are right and wrong ways to apologize. You should say, “I apologize for…” and then name the action or thing you said. Don’t qualify the apology by suggesting they misunderstood you, or that you’re sorry for how they feel. You can’t know for sure how your actions made someone feel, so don’t suggest that you can. Simply apologize for your actions.
Apologizing improves your relationships
When you apologize to someone, it shows you care about them and their feelings. It shows them you’re willing to be vulnerable and admit when you’re wrong. It also allows them to heal and move on.
It can even provide them with physical benefits. Psychology Today states, “An apology actually affects the bodily functions of the person receiving it — blood pressure decreases, heart rate slows and breathing becomes steadier.”
It re-establishes trust
If you broke the rules, saying you’re sorry shows that you know you stepped over the line, and you won’t be doing that again. Verywell Mind states, “That lets people know you're the kind of person who is generally careful not to hurt others and puts the focus on your better virtues, rather than on your worst mistakes.” This helps rebuild your reputation and, hopefully, your trust with the injured party.
Saying sorry helps you move forward
Rather than dealing with the situation, you may try to avoid someone you’ve hurt. Psychology Today states, “The debilitating effects of the remorse and shame we may feel when we've hurt another person can eat away at us until we become emotionally and physically ill.” Apologizing not only frees you from feeling guilty, it also stops you from worrying about what might happen when you talk to your loved one. Saying you’re sorry lets you acknowledge your wrongdoing and move forward.
Acknowledging you’re wrong keeps you humble
When you say you’re sorry, you’re admitting you were in the wrong. Psychology Today states, “Apology has the power to humble even the most arrogant. When we develop the courage to admit we are wrong and work past our resistance to apologizing, we develop a deep sense of self-respect.” It also shows people in your life that they’re more important to you than being right.
Learning to apologize correctly improves your relationships, rebuilds trust, helps you move forward and keeps you humble.