You can’t really forgive someone who doesn’t apologize to you. Maybe in some inner way you can come to accept what they did. But meaningful forgiveness depends on their apology first. That’s what you need so that you can come together again and move forward in life.
- A sincere apology has five parts.
- Saying you’re sorry
- Admitting how you were wrong
- Acknowledging the pain you caused
- Stating a way to prevent it from happening again
- Finding some way to make-it-up to the person you hurt
When you want to apologize to someone, think about each of these five steps. Think about what you can say and do to make each of these five steps happen. It may take a while to figure these things out. Make sure that these are thingsYOU will do differently , not things you are asking them to do differently.
Watch out for thoughts like: “If you just wouldn’t disagree with me so much, then I wouldn’t get so angry and this would never happen.” That’s asking THEM to do something different. That’s not an apology.
When you’ve made a sincere no-kidding-around apology, it’s a lot easier for them to forgive you. They still might not. They might not be ready yet. They might never be ready. But with a sincere apology, you’ve done what you can to get things started.
If you haven’t made a sincere apology, you should. And maybe more than once.