Monday, December 12, 2016

Relationship Tip 6 of 7: Forgiveness vs. Apology

Have you ever noticed how one-sided an apology can be? I regularly see apologies that do not require us to forgive the offense. For example: “Our store is closed for inventory today, we apologize for any inconvenience.” For this apology, you have taken your time and resources to go shopping at the store, and their apology does not offer anything to encourage you to come back or to cover your various costs of disappointment.

For anything that goes wrong, it is simple to say, "I apologize for whatever I did." This allows me to dutifully apologize for kicking your dog, but have I received forgiveness from you, or your dog?

When little, my son would apologize by saying, "I'm sorry Daddy, will you ever forgive me?" This would always make me stop and think, and smile and forgive. Asking for forgiveness requires an active response in the mind of the offended party. It requires that we touch and respond to what is truly important in the relationship.

Is it better to apologize, or to ask for forgiveness and know you have received it from family, friends and customers? How would it feel different if someone asked you for forgiveness instead of apologizing?

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