Do you owe someone an apology?
Those episodes can shake the relationship emotionally, but can be ideal opportunities to achieve closeness if you learn how to say "I'msSorry" the right way. Here's my advice on how you can communicate a successful apology:
1. Lose the defensive position. Don't underplay the other person's feelings and try to wiggle out of the conflict. Just because what you said wouldn't hurt you, those memories and emotions are very real and deserves your compassion.
2. Own your actions and words. Include in your apology the words, "I am sorry that my (behavior/comment/tone of voice, etc.) hurt you." Period. Do not add the "but" disclaimer as it cancels out the apology. Communicate your understanding of what caused the distress and admit you are remorseful.
3. Ask for forgiveness. It's hard to ask for forgiveness when you believe you have not done anything wrong, but that approach communicates a lack of respect for your loved one's feelings. It's just not your emotional hot button. Relationships have a way of balancing out when you practice love and compassion over the need to win every battle.
4. Don't panic. The eruption may need a cooling off period before your relationship gets back to normal. This blimp in the relationship does not automatically mean your sweeties does not love you. Sometimes you may need to write out what you said so the apology can sink in.
No one likes tension in a love relationship, however, rushing the process of working through the trial can lead to resentment. Glossing over blowups, coughing up an apology out of obligation and not looking at the deeper meaning behind the argument can easily lead to emotional separation.
Conflicts are experiences couples can use to deepen their relationship and learn more about each other's emotional triggers. By working through these challenges, you can have the harmony you desire. Your willingness to embrace a teachable attitude will enrich your relationship and lead to a more fulfilling commitment.
Nancy Pina is a highly recognized author, relationship coach and speaker. She is dedicated to helping individuals attract emotionally healthy relationships through her practical, Christian-based advice. Visit here for articles, exercises, coaching options and recent books.