This week I have been listening to the Unlocking Us podcast and the interview of Brene Bown with Harriet Lerner about her latest book. They talked about apologies. I loved the two-part interview. Here are my thoughts about apologizing:
There are times that we may apologize because we did something or said something that hurt someone. This could have been intentional or unintentional. The responsibility of acting in a way that possibly hurt someone lays on us. I have heard from some people that said “I was hurt so much that I wanted to hurt them back”. or “I just wanted to share how much I was hurt but not intended to hurt them”, or, “I was just being myself and did not know that I was hurting someone”. Regardless of the original intention, a chosen action or reaction by me impacted someone and hurt them, and I need to be responsible and accountable for my action.
We may feel vulnerable, fear of being judged, fear of being belittled, fear of being less than, fear of ego rushing, fear of the other person gloating with pride and ridiculing, fear of being publicly shamed, fear of being wrong, fear of not being credible in the future, shame, guilt, anger, righteous, helpless, or other feelings while apologizing.
We will also gain, closeness, restoring trust, intimacy, closeness, honor, integrity, pride, strength, clarity, openness, and a sense of closure and freedom when we apologize.
When I hurt someone, I am being out of integrity with who I am as my best. So it would be very useful for me to apologize to myself and the other person for hurting them. When we consider apologizing to ourselves as well as others, we are also restoring our own dignity and go back toward being whole and complete as a human being who can strive toward the betterment of the self and the world.
May you be free from the need to hurt yourself or others, and free from feelings of fear or guilt by taking accountability, healing the wound and restoring connection by authentically apologizing.