The Healing Power of Apology

Nov 2, 2022

For most people, apologizing is no easy task. Sometimes you may not even feel that you are wrong but choose to apologize just to keep the peace. The truth is telling someone that you are sorry is healthy for the mind, body, and soul. It’s a way to cleanse yourself of ego and self-manufactured pride and can literally make you a healthier person!

Don’t Run Away

We’ve all had a huge fight with a friend. Whether you’re right or they are, no one feels good. Then comes the waiting game. Who is going to apologize to who? You find yourself in a game of chicken, anticipating a long, heartfelt apology but it never comes. The more you wait, the more tension builds.

And builds…

And builds…

If you’re like me, you start to begin feeling ill. This tension takes a toll not just on your mental health but on your physical health too.

It’s been weeks since the two of you have spoken and this pointless fight is now beginning to have real-world consequences. You’re having a difficult time getting out of bed in the morning, your old habits are now pointless and maybe even are abusing drugs and alcohol. That tension you originally felt has mutated into a rage monster and an apology will no longer suffice. All over what? A stupid little argument that you can’t even remember.

Yes, this is a situation that I went through years ago and deeply regret but was also an amazing learning experience. Even though that friend and I never forgave one another, I made a personal vow to myself that I would never do anything like that ever again. Not a single positive thing came from not apologizing and in fact, only made me worse for it. It may sound crazy but learning the ability to admit guilt and apologize for my wrongdoings has not only made me a happier person but a healthier one too.

Forgive and Forget

There’s nothing worse than a disingenuous apology. These empty words feel more like a slap in the face than an admission of guilt and it is crucial to mean what you say and say what you mean. This person that you’re trying to make up with is a friend or a loved one which means they know when you are BS’ing them or not. If they get even a whiff of sarcasm or that you are in some way patronizing them, good luck because you’ll be sleeping on the couch that night.

Before you rush to apologize, a lazy way to get yourself off the hook, really listen to what the person is telling you. More likely than not, what they are saying can really benefit you. Whether they don’t appreciate your sudden burst of anger or your unhealthy lifestyle, this is a moment to not only say sorry but have a moment of reflection. This person cares and wants the best for you so don’t neglect their advice.

Outside of apologizing to others, many people (including myself) have a hard time absorbing an apology. Whether this is from childhood trauma or a manipulative relationship, it’s crucial to understand that this incident took place in the past and this person really cares about you. It’s extremely unhealthy for not just the relationship but your own mental health to let past experiences trickle into your current life. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t use past events to help navigate you through current situations, it just means you can’t let them control you.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Sometimes it really isn’t your fault. You make a genuine apology and listen to what the other person has to say and for some unexplainable reason, they don’t accept your words to be true. There’s no rhyme or reason to it so there’s no need to try and make sense of it because this person had already made up their mind before a single word left your mouth. Even though it’ll sting, this is another important lesson—how not to handle an apology. If someone isn’t emotionally mature enough to care when someone is being vulnerable and really trying to make amends, maybe it’s time to cut ties.

At the end of the day, no one likes to fight. Well, maybe the people who compete in the UFC do but that’s a different story. When you truly care about someone, expressing how you feel and swallowing your pride is worth it and will only make you an overall better person. Even those times when you feel that you have done nothing wrong, listen to what is being said to you because there will most likely be some wisdom to gain.

* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.

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