Apologies are at the core to maintaining good relationships. People can intentionally hurt the feelings of others and sometimes it can happen unintentionally. No matter how it happens, it is important that an apology is given to the person who has been hurt.
The last thing to do when someone is hurt is trying to defend the action with excuses, “I was only joking”, “you took it up all wrong” etc. You are putting the blame on the other person for feeling hurt – this is WRONG. If the person is hurt by what you said or did, the person is hurt and you must apologize for causing the hurt. When you apologize you are keeping your focus on a peaceful solution.
If you going down the route of making excuses for what happened, you are showing yourself up in a worse light that can eventually lead to rage in the other person. They say that “a stitch in time saves nine”, this is definitely true when it comes to the importance of making a prompt apology.
Apologizing builds friendships. It builds the friendship in a loving relationship and in relationships in general. The second part of apologizing is the change you promise so that you this will not happen in the future.
When you apologize you say that it was your fault. You show that you are taking responsibility for causing hurt to the other person. “I am sorry” is such a powerful phrase. It dissolves conflict and brings closure to what happened.
It is important that you forgive when someone offers you an apology for the hurt they may have caused you. When you forgive you say that you understand the regret felt by the other person and their desire to maintain a good relationship. Forgiveness is necessary for the relationship to progress.
We must cultivate the importance of apologizing when it comes to children. You sometimes hear adults say “to take no notice” when youngsters are ill-mannered and disrespectful to other adults. This is totally the wrong approach to take. You should never tolerate a situation where a youngster says something or does something that is perceived as hurtful by others.
It is a MUST that youngsters take responsibility for their hurtful actions. It might be the most natural thing in the world for parents to defend the actions of their young, however, this is not doing their children any favour.
When an unapologetic youngster is made to apologise for unfavourable actions towards others, it brings him/her a step closer towards his feelings matching with his/her actions. For parents who insist on taking the “let them do what they want” approach, they run the risk of their youngster never coming to terms with the fact that their actions were indeed wrong, even worse such parents may be unintentionally raising a sociopath.
Another important factor in not taking a youngster to task for hurting the feelings of others is that they are likely to bring this into their relationships with their partners in adult life. This does not auger well for their ability to maintain healthy loving relationships in their life.