Did you know that there’s actually an apology profile? It’s on the five languages of love website. Apparently people like to hear an apology differently.
My preference for an apology is to hear, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I hurt you. I’m sorry that you are also hurting. And here’s what I’m gonna do differently to make sure that I don’t hurt you again in the future.”
An apology is not, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”
“You shouldn’t feel that way.”
That’s a non-apology apology
“I am sorry that you are in pain. Your pain matters to me.” Lands very differently than, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”
Solving the problem when someone tells you that they’re hurting is not the same thing as an apology.
Playing devils advocate is not an apology.
Telling someone they’re looking at the situation wrong when they’re telling you that they’re hurting, is not an apology.
Stay with the person- preference their feelings, put their feelings first. They’re telling you that they hurt, does it matter to you that they hurt? Even if you think they’re wrong, even if you don’t agree with them, does compassion flow from you when you’re here that someone is hurting?
Everyone on the planet is self-absorbed at one point or another. We’re all a little bit on the selfish side.
When someone tells you that they’re hurting, can you put yourself aside it to the side, and hear them out?
Can you hold space for them and just listen to what they have to say, actively listen to what they’re saying so that they feel understood. Don’t add suffering to suffering. Don’t harm them when they’re feeling low or hurt.
“Your pain matters to me. When I see that you are hurt, it concerns me. I want to be there for you and support you when you’re hurting. And I want you to be there when I’m hurting as well.”
We call this “empathy”
Being able to put ourselves into the other person’s shoes and feel their experience from their first person view. This usually comes with some listening and then compassion tends to flow from that empathy.
When somebody apologizes, it means a lot to the person hearing it, if done well.
I often hear people saying that their partner does not apologize well. They can say the words “I’m sorry,” the tone however does not demonstrate sincerity genuineness or authenticity.
They are unable to give the context of why there are sorry. Are you sorry that you got caught? Are you sorry that you now have to deal with the consequences of your action? Are you sorry that you hurt somebody by your actions? Or are you making it about you and you’re beating yourself up, or making them the bad person for confronting you on bad behavior? Did you turn an apology into an attack? Are you getting defensive and putting your needs in front of your partners needs?‘