Apologies and Forgiveness -An Essential Part of Relationships

Apologies and Forgiveness -An Essential Part of Relationships

Value Apologizing and Forgiveness

Relationships suffer with unresolved conflict. Even strong relationships become vulnerable when problems occur and no resolution is in sight. Unresolved conflict that becomes circular, hostile and resentful can chip away at the foundation of any relationship.

Learning the art of apologizing and forgiveness is critical in relationships. We all have days when we are not our best self and we make mistakes or poor choices. "To error is to be human".  When our words, decisions, or mistakes hurt others, intentionally or not-we must learn to apologize.


Resolving conflict with grace brings us closer together. On the flip side, unresolved problems can break down any relationship.

Apologizing can be difficult; it is natural to feel justified in action or not want to accept responsibility for mistakes. Barriers to apologizing include: not understanding or disagreement about the problem, and the fear of admitting we are wrong.  It is common to feel vulnerable when we apologize. The key is to understand that we can increase intimacy and strengthen our relationships by learning to apologize.

Apologizing can be this simple:  1) State you are sorry, 2) Identify what you can do better and 3) State your intention to respond differently in the future. 

Forgiveness is Underrated

While apologizing can be hard, forgiving others when we feel wronged can be even more difficult.  Once you have received a sincere apology, it is a choice how to proceed.  Forgive the offense or harbor resentment? Choose to trust the sincerity or make exit plans? Holding onto resentments or past events will eventually lead to the unraveling of relationships. Practice forgiving even when it is difficult. 

Forgiving can leave us feeling vulnerable: we are fearful
that we may be hurt again.

Learn the skills to apologize and the skills to forgive.  Forgiveness of others is a true statement of love.  In forgiveness we are saying, I love and value you even though we are both imperfect.

 “Forgiveness is the truest form of love.  It takes a strong person to apologize and even a stronger person to forgive."

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