Thursday, January 21, 2010

Do You Know How to Apologize?

posted by Michele Olson

Is it possible that some people do not apologize for the multitude of silly little disagreements, often over nothing major, because they simply don’t know how?

Apologizing may not be a part of people’s skill set. Perhaps they never saw it modeled in their own families and they brought that lack of ability to recognize when and how to apologize into their adult relationships…and specifically into their marriage.

With that idea in mind, I set out to find what resources were available to teach someone how to apologize.

ehow has a handy five step plan that starts with swallowing your pride and brings you through explaining what you perceived to be going on and to use the words “I’m sorry.” The tips also talk about being careful about not over apologizing as a method of manipulation.

The Smalley family website from Gary Smalley fame breaks it down into three easy steps which include your acknowledgement to your spouse that something happened and you are aware of something it caused them.

Next is validating the feelings of the person you are apologizing to and then asking them how you can make it right. They caution you not to assume you know what will make it feel right in their eyes.

Howdini has a youtube video with relationship expert Terrence Real that talks through the steps of apologizing if you are more of a visual/audio learner. Howdini also has videos showing couples enacting apologizing.

Another excellent resource is from the Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas, The
Five Languages of Apology. This books takes an in depth look at what way you really like to be apologized to and what really feels like an apology to your loved one.

So, there you have it…a wealth of resources on ways to apologize. Because unlike the message we received from the book and movie Love Story in the 70’s…love does mean having to say you’re sorry.

How about you? Is apology easy or difficult in your relationships and especially in your marriage? Did you grow up seeing apology put into action in your world?
Tell your "Love" story!


M. Denise Wilmer Barreto said...

Great food for thought - I will check out the Five Languages of an Apology.

Thanks - very important topic in all relationships but especially so with our spouses. said...

Great to hear from you M! It's a topic we all need...especially in our marriages. Thanks for blogging.