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Ep. 116 The Power of an Apology

by Claudine Sweeney
February 16th 2022
Is it hard for you to apologize? What if you believe you didn't do any wrong? Coming off of the last episode we wanted to follow up this week and talk about how having a healthy outlook of a proper ap... More
This is episode 1 16 The power of an apology. You're listening to the rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids. We have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches. We now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the rise up and Shine podcast. Well speaking of, I could be wrong if you tuned into last week's episode episode 1 15. Today we're following it up with the power of an apology. Apologizing does not come easy to all of us or most of us. I was going to say probably many of us didn't come easy to me early in my marriage marriage because I never thought I was wrong. It kind of goes back to what we talked about last week.

I never thought I was wrong, so I didn't see a need to apologize. Well I can assure you in 34 years of marriage I've learned a few things. One of them is that I was wrong a lot and so therefore there was a need to apologize. So I actually had to learn how to do it. It wasn't something my parents really taught me how to do. I have a sister, younger sister. I feel like if there was ever anything, we just had to say I was sorry and of course that was more of a, I'm sorry to Yeah, with an attitude like I'm sorry and snickering like you really weren't sorry, but your parents made you stand. That causes a lot of arguments with my Children these days and it doesn't mean it, but it doesn't create any healing or reconciliation. So that's why today's topic is so powerful because a really sincere, well crafted apology can reconcile and mend relationships. Well, I think most of us have just had the thought, well, just we'll move on and if I acknowledge that I may have been wrong, I'll just try to do better next time with no communication, no apology, just moving on.

And that was very ingrained in us in our generation. But nowadays we've gone way on the other end where it's, we're so much more in tuned to other people's feelings and tried to spare each other's feelings and not hurt each other's feelings. And so we're like hypersensitive to it. But apology is so important in all relationships. And as we've talked about last weekend, as we talked about last week on the episode, um, I could be wrong. Those are the reasons why, right? Because they do hurt our relationships and it does not allow for healing and mending and moving forward, truly moving on without pain and some sort of barrier within that relationship. Yeah, I was that way too. We just swept it under the rug. I just felt like if I didn't talk about it, never apologized, don't talk about it, but just try to change to me that equated an apology. It's not verbal. It was one of the biggest things my husband I argued about in the earlier years because I felt like he said sorry all the time, but there wasn't change.

And he felt like I never said I was sorry for from my husband isn't that interesting and I felt and he felt like I didn't say I was sorry, I didn't express that. But then I could see that I was trying to change. So today we're going to give the practical for sure at the end how to craft a really well intentioned and sincere, sincere apology. Very important. But let's talk about because we are wired for relationships. That's our natural wired. We are all wired for relationships. God is the god of reconciliation and a god of love. And we're made in his image. So we should be in relationship and we are human. We're all going to make mistakes, We're going to hurt one another. And that's why there's power in apologizing, right? But so many people if you're listening to this and you're like, yeah, I'm not wired for relationship. The truth is you've probably been offended more than one time and did not receive a proper apology. So our natural inclination is to protect and throw walls up. Or you surrounded yourself by toxic people.

That could be an idea to but really think about it. What what we do is we guard ourselves now, but we label it as well. Maybe I'm not meant for relationships or didn't really work out for me. Yeah, maybe I'm not wired for this, but you really are. That is a belief that might feel true. That is something really important to be aware of. And if you had received proper apologies every time you were offended, you would be able to move forward. Like you mentioned earlier when an apology can mend relationships and heal wounds and repair a broken heart and they soften the harm done because there's going to be harm done right. We're all going to hurt each other. That's just part of it. But when we apologize sincerely, like you said, it does open the door to forgiveness. It does show respect and empathy for the other person. And there's benefits. An apology both to the giver and the receiver. Oh gosh, absolutely. I definitely as the receiver, yeah, I love an apology. I know, but it really does.

It really there's benefits for the person who is the giver of the apology. Some of those benefits include lessening guilt and shame. Because deep down, even if it's subconscious, you know, you've done something wrong, right? If someone else is hurt, even if it wasn't intentional. Um, you know, you've done something wrong and there's guilt and shame. It might be subconscious, but there's some there you could experience humility when you apologize as the giver, you can stay emotionally connected to the other person. You can increase self respect again that you've done the right thing and it honors God. So there's a lot of benefits to the giver and moms. I want you to take a good listen right now that even includes apologizing to your Children. Yeah, I think that is so important model what a proper apology looks like if you want to see it in your Children, you need to be the first to model it and being able to be humble and show them your vulnerability is so powerful in their own life. And so by you modeling eventually you're going to see it even with them. It's great. It's pretty amazing. One of my kids now will you know, I'll have to separate them.

You know when my kids get all worked up, I have them separated just to take a break and then let their sensory overload calm down. And then now most of the time they come and apologize on their own because they know the foundation that is good to apologize but they're not going to give a proper apology when they're still so heated in the moment. None of us. I mean most of us have a hard time with that when we're all heated. Sometimes we do might might need a little break to calm our brains down so then we can give that proper apology to really heal. It is so healing very much true. Yeah. And the receiver, like you said, you love getting an apology. The receiver that gets the apology can have that emotional healing like you're talking about like they can feel like okay damage was done, but I have the opportunity now to forgive, to move on and to heal another one is they have the opportunity to move past the anger because a lot of times when we heard there's a lot of anger right? Like a boundary has been crossed or something has been done to us, you know, depending on the offense we can cause a lot of anger and with that apology we can move past the anger.

I'll even answer that in shame. Yes, I know in times, especially in my marriage where I was not in the healthiest place, you know, mentally and emotionally when my husband and I would have a conflict and he, you know didn't want my communication definitely improved, but at the time I didn't properly communicate and I also felt like he wasn't quick to apologize either, but when I would go and just be in the quiet moments rather than anger for me, I would self doubt and what is wrong with me, like obviously something's wrong with me, you know, like he must be right, I must be wrong, healthy, healthy healthy way and it did, it kept me in a lot of shame because that was the story I was building well I guess something is wrong with me. See kind of proved almost what I already limiting beliefs about myself. Another way that apology helps the receiver is they can feel safer, right? There's there's that personal threat is removed because if you've been hurt or offended, there was some kind of personal threat, it could be small, We're not talking a violent attack, but even an insult, right?

We feel threatened, we feel less safe. And so this gives us the opportunity to feel safer. And it gives us the opportunity to find empathy and stay connected with the person who did the offense. Like why could they have done that again? It goes back even to last week, I could be wrong or just trying to find compassion and empathy for why someone might have said or done something, I had a good friend that you know, all of us have over the years done things that have hurt us and sometimes it helps to step back and go why could they have done this? What in their past or what in their upbringing or what in their belief system, could create them to talk to someone in that way or commit that action. Like I would never think to do, like I would never do that right. Because that's a lot of it to, it's part of our story and our narrative, like I would never do that to someone. So now I feel thinner because someone did it to me. But if we can find empathy and compassion for the other person, it also helps us stay connected. And I think one of the reasons why it could be hard to apologize is because we don't want to admit that we could have been wrong again in the last episode.

That's really ties together. But it takes a lot of humility and that's hard. It's our brains don't like that, our brains don't want to be wrong and so we can justify, I mean, how many times have we heard an apology? I'm sorry, but blank blank blank. This is why I did that. Or I was just frustrated and it's like, okay, you lost me, right. I don't know how many times I've had some of my conflict with my husband because he would do that a lot. He would say, well I'm sorry, but and then he would give me all the list of reasons why he was justifying his behavior and then it would come around the, you know, come around again in a circle and he's like, but I apologized and I'd be thinking like I didn't even hear it. It was like maybe I heard it briefly, but then moved on to all the reasons, well the minute you hear the but I didn't know it was like, my brain is no, totally dropped the I'm sorry in the beginning because all I heard was his list of one of the reasons it's so hard to apologize is because we're essentially giving control over to the other person, right?

Because then they get to choose what they're going to do with it. Like you're being vulnerable and humble and you're saying, you know, you apologize and the other person now is in the power seat really. Yeah, exactly. Right. And that can be a scary place to be because like you said, our brains were wired for safety, security, comfort and pleasure and an apology and all that doesn't fit in there, right? We need to do it and it's healthy to do it. And the bible is filled with scriptures on apologizing and reconciling and all of that. But it is hard to do it. It's not in our nature to just be at least it's not my nature. I'm sure there's a few really amazing soft hearted, deeply spiritual women out there. It's in their nature, it's not ours in our nature, but we fight to do this because it's the right thing to do. So let's talk about what an effective apology is. Again, this is a learned skill. I didn't have the skill. I think you and your nature a little bit more willing to apologize but to have an effective apology takes these three Rs and the first one is regret to express the regret for the hurt or damage caused and it's important to think about the hurt and damage might not have been intentional, but you still might your actions or words may have had an impact on others.

So the impact on others is over the intention. I think that was a big hold back from you. Like I didn't intend that. So why should I apologize? I'm sorry you took it that way, right. But that wasn't my intent. But an effective apology will acknowledge the impact we've had on the other person. So expressing regret. The second is responsibility. Taking responsibility. No blame or excuses. It's kind of like you were saying but well I yelled but you did this and you made me so mad. That's really not taking responsibility. A lot of times we use our emotions as the excuse because I was feeling this way. But that also shows that well perhaps you are living by your emotions and not being more intentional and proactive. Yes. So taking responsibility no buts no blames no excuse. And the last one is the remedy of willingness to change, offering what you're gonna do differently next time Or what what behavior is going to change. So those are the three RS of an effective apology. Yeah. And it might look like I am sorry and then you fill in the blank with your behavior.

You acknowledge how your actions affected the other person. And when you say you're sorry right? And you describe what you're going to do to make it right to rectify the situation or you know, you own it basically you own it and you try to do differently next time because, you know, the impact it had on the other person, which it reminds me of that scripture of consider others over you're better than yourself. And I think that's a great example. Consider others how they were impacted by your behavior over you. You know, your feelings and your thoughts about your own behavior. Sometimes we have situations where perhaps that we behaved a certain way or we set a certain something and in our heart we really don't think it was wrong. But if it's still impacted the other person that hurt the other person's, that's what we need to look at. That's what they took it a certain way based on their life experiences. And so let's acknowledge that even if you still feel like, well, I don't have anything to apologize for. I have said that many times, I don't have anything to apologize for. But if I knew the other person in most cases, my husband, you know, felt hurt by it, then I need to own that because I care and highly value our relationship over whether I'm right or wrong.

Yeah, that's that's that's exactly it. It's valuing your relationship more than yourself, right, Which is the ego, it's not of the spirit, it's the flesh, right? And so we have to value our relationships more than ourself. And you know, it's so funny now that my Children are all adults, I have to apologize them so often for when they're little now that they're older and they can communicate well. You know, when we were little this and we were a little that I'm like, I am really sorry. You know, I did the best I could with the knowledge I had the time, but I'm really sorry that hurts you. If I knew then what I know now I would have done things differently. But thank you for talking to me about it. Really everything we did was out of love. You know, we were so young. We were 21 when we had our first, so we really didn't know what we were doing, not to make excuses, but we just did. But we owned it. I've owned, I've had to own so much with my adult Children and you know what? It's preserved our relationships. I've had to own so much, but the good thing is it's preserved those relationships and I don't have to fight to be right, you know, because to me, I just want to have a loving relationship with them.

I just thought of another bumper sticker. Fight to be close. Don't fight to be right. That's pretty good. I like that. I still am going to forever love that the opposite of lazy is not not busy, whatever it was. Anyway, so yeah, so again, the power of an apology. We want to reconcile. We want to keep our relationships close, we want to show regret responsibility in a remedy. Reparations for the offense and really be able to say that and express that to the people that we love love and and care about really protect those relationships. And it reminds me of that scripture in second Corinthians 7 11 where it says, look at what that Godly sorrow has produced in you. You are working hard to clear yourselves. You're longing to see me, you're concerned, you're ready to make sure that the right thing is done in every way. You have proved that you are not guilty in that in every way. You've proved that you're not guilty in that matter. And I love that because we need to have that with each other. Certainly that's with God.

You know, we want to make sure we're right with him, but even with one another really protect the relationships and and rise up and shine in those, you know what better way than to shine in our relationships because it's hard, it's hard with our Children. It's hard with our husbands, hard with our friends and family and we all do really deeply desire strong friendships, strong relationships and so this is sometimes it might feel like a sacrifice but this is a very important piece in keeping those relationships so strong. Yes, well I hope this was helpful for you all and we look forward to next time until then. Alright, everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the rice. I've been shined podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode. And while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today if you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at Claudine Sweeney dot com and Ashley at mind over chaos dot com.

Our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life. Mhm. Mhm.

Ep. 116 The Power of an Apology
Ep. 116 The Power of an Apology
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