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Overcoming the Reluctance to Apologize -- Part 2 of 2

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Richard O. Jones
According to the book Five Languages of Apology by Gary Chapman and Jennifer
Thomas there are five levels of apologies which are: (1) Expressing regret: In expressing regret a person should say that they are sorry. But equal to saying that they are sorry, they should verbally say what it is that they are sorry for. For instance: I am sorry that I wrecked your car. (2) Accepting responsibility: In accepting responsibility they should not try to blame another person.

For instance: I am sorry that I wrecked your car but it was not my fault because if you had not gotten me upset... (3) Making restitution: I will pay for the damages to your car and your rental car, if you need one. (4) Repenting: A sincere expression of sorrow should include your intentions never to behave in such a manner again. (5) Requesting forgiveness: In most cases, asking for forgiveness should follow an apology.

For instance: I am sorry for wrecking your car. How can I make it up to you? Will you please forgive me? Many people adopt one or two of the different level but a combination of four or five are needed to truly convey a sincere apology. The absence of an apology has prompted many legal and physical, sometimes deadly, battles. Many people can’t maintain a long-term romantic relationship with anyone because they were never taught to apologize when they are wrong.

They might think they are apologizing when they buy the other person flowers or engage in romantic evening but that is not the same as sincerely saying, “I’m sorry, please forgive me. I realize that I was wrong and will never do that again. What can I do to make it up to you?” Many marriages would not have ended in divorce if spouses were not so stubborn about admitting
fault.

It is detrimental to any relationship foranyone to assume immunity from apologizing because of age, family hierarchy, social status, religion, or professional position. A millionaire employer should apologize to an indigent employee if the employer is wrong. A parent that is wrong should apologize to their child. No one is exempt from doing the right thing.

Sometimes people who were hurt in the past live by a vow that they will never be hurt again or back down from a challenge. They begin to see every disagreement as a challenge and are unyielding even when they realize that they are wrong. Some believe that to be wrong makes them a bad person. This false belief causes normal indifferences to escalate way out of proportion.

The Bible speaks of peacemakers. Matt: 5:9 - Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall inherit the earth. Too often people are more concerned about being right. And if certain people believe that they are right then they will not apologize because they feel entitled to an apology themselves.

However, it is better to be kind than to be right. Usually, the wiser of the two in any given dispute is the first to make peace. Learning how to forgive is equally, if not more, essential to your emotional well being and the vitally of healthy relationships as knowing how to apologize. When it comes to forgiving, ask God to forgive you for your transgressions. Then you forgive
others as God has forgiven you.

Email: richardojones1@verizon.net

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