It’s hard sometimes to apologize. Not just because we lack for words to explain how bad we might feel for something we have done. But also because sometimes we feel like we’ve not done anything wrong. Because we realize that the other person feels we need to apologize but in our mind we did what we had to do.
It’s then when we desperately try to explain why we acted a certain way. We use “but” and “because” and what was expected to be an apology ends up being a desperate attempt to make the other side realize that we simply saw it differently.
As parents we often end up in a situation where we tell our children that an apology is necessary. We all know that moments like that can end in huge discussions about why the apology is necessary. We hear the “but” and the reasoning. And now hand on your heart: How often did you think that your child is actually right? How often did you stand there thinking that your kid got a point there? How often did you wonder about how you would have reacted if you would have know all of this before?
Yes, there are the moments where we so know that an apology is necessary. It’s the moment I usually tell my children that it’s nice to hear their “sorry” but that I would prefer them to not get in the situation again where they need to apologize. It’s usually also the situation where they lack arguments to make a good case (did I just sound a little bit like a lawyer???). They simply don’t find an excuse why their behavior was okay.
Again there are the moments where you can tell that they truly didn’t think they’d be in the wrong. As adults we get there too.
Personally I find it really hard to admit that I made a mistake. It’s one of the things I work on. It’s especially hard when it involves my children. How bad is that? Bad! So there I am, facing the best arguments ever why what I thought was not okay is okay. There I am realizing that they might actually be right. And then it takes so much to admit it. So much to tell them that I now understand what it was all about and that they don’t have to be sorry, that they don’t have to apologize. On top of that it takes so so much to actually tell them that I’m sorry I didn’t get it right away.
Apologies are not easy. They are not always straight forward. But if they come from the heart, truly and honestly they should be heard so you can move on. All it comes down to in the end is that what you feel, what you want to say, what you want the other person to feel is real.