When our heart is deeply wounded, an AUTHENTIC APOLOGY is like an antibiotic, whereas an insincere apology is like rubbing salt into the wound and can be almost as much of an insult as the upsetting event.
If you don't mean it, don't say it is how many of us feel when it comes to hearing the words "I'm sorry".
However very few of us are actually taught how to deliver an AUTHENTIC APOLOGY. Most are forced to say sorry often in childhood but don't understand there is a vast difference between saying sorry, and truly being sorry. People feel our sincerity when it comes from our heart, it touches theirs and wounds commence to heal.
For those reading this who know how to deliver an AUTHENTIC APOLOGY life gets busy and refreshers on basic Emotional Fitness exercises can be useful. Most of us are not slow learners, just quick forgetters.
So here are my top ten workout tips for our heart, guaranteed to help maintain Emotional Fitness as well as master the art of delivering an AUTHENTIC APOLOGY.
1. Unless we can honestly say that we have no emotional investment in the outcome after making our APOLOGY we are not yet ready to give it. If we NEED them to forgive us, we are doing this for ourselves not for them.
2. Our intention for an AUTHENTIC APOLOGY requires our true motive being driven by the desire to honour the other person. We show that we care more about their heart, than our ego by taking full responsibility for our actions. We honour them by leaving out any "but if you hadn't, or "I wouldn't have if you didn't" sentences from our dialogue.
3. Ask them if they are willing to let us speak to them in private, without interruption for a few moments.
4. Wait for their response.
5. If they agree, we make a time to meet them in person, ensuring we have left ample time so neither party is rushed. If they don't agree, ask them to let you know if and when they feel ready, as you would like to offer an AUTHENTIC APOLOGY to them.
6. Look them in the eye before we speak, and as we speak 7. Open our dialogue with the words "I am sorry"
8. Ensure we take full responsibility for our actions keeping to our side of the street only in this conversation; we are not responsible for what they did wrong; only what we did wrong.
9. Ask in conclusion, if there is anything we can now do for them to help make it right and be prepared to honour their wishes. If they respond with being asked to be left alone, we leave them be.
10. Close our dialogue with the words "Thank you for listening to me" even if they are withholding forgiveness.
I started practicing this ten-point workout back in 1995 when I started creating The Emotional Fitness Program. I was 33 the first time I womaned up and gave an AUTHENTIC APOLOGY. It was to my ex-husband who is the father of my two sons who were then small boys aged 7 and 9, today they are men. We had been together for 14 years, and towards the end of our marriage I dumped my irresponsible fear driven behavior on him way too much.
So, I called him and asked him to meet me at a park bench on the Brisbane River. We had been separated for a few months and we were both in a great deal of pain.
I used these ten pointers for the first time in my life, not knowing how things would go, but I was determined for the first time in my life to give him my first AUTHENTIC APOLOGY, god knows he deserved it.
As soon as I looked at him and said sorry, I could see him exhale with relief. As I concluded and thanked him through my tears, he smiled gently at me. He told me I had nothing to APOLOGISE for, that we both were responsible for what happened.
From that point on we were able to communicate without argument and with respect. I have become a fan of this AUTHENTIC APOLOGY formula ever since.
So my hope is that these ten suggestions may offer you or someone you care about some Emotional Fitness tools that bring to an upsetting situation more relief than grief.
I would like to sign off today sharing some wise words from Kimberly Johnson for you to consider next time you feel compelled to deliver an AUTHENTIC APOLOGY:
"Never ruin an apology with an excuse."
Lotsa love Cynthia xxx