I hurt someone’s feelings and I’m having a hard time apologizing. I fear that even if I do, this relationship can’t be salvaged. Is it worth it?
I have some good and bad news for you:
Apologizing is never easy because the act itself requires you to admit that you’re wrong, which nobody likes to do. We’ve been taught that being wrong is, well, wrong. We would rather avoid feeling the discomfort that comes with that so we activate this little thing inside us called ego. Think of the ego as a bag of tricks: it contains your self confidence and self importance, your pride and your humility. For every good thing you can pull out of that bag, there’s also a thing that can fuck you over.
Apologizing is always important because it asks you to be transparent and selfless. It’s an act of love that promotes growth. It opens the door to the possibility of forgiveness and healing. Those things aren’t guaranteed and that’s okay, because your goal shouldn’t be to fish for the outcome you want. It’s about taking responsibility for your actions and being honest with yourself and the person you’ve hurt. An apology is a commitment to not repeat the offense. A repeated offense is really just a choice.
So, is apologizing worth it? I don’t know how you define “worth it”; if what you seek is personal redemption or instant forgiveness, this may not really be for you. If this is about personal gain more than it is about righting a wrong you might just be setting yourself up for disappointment. When you truly care about someone you’ll do anything to salvage your relationship with them, and while apologizing isn’t easy to do it’s a risk you should be willing to take.
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