This blog is dedicated to the people who have done someone else wrong. I’m talking about the people who have lied, cheated, stabbed someone in the back or otherwise used or manipulated someone … and got caught. This blog is dedicated to those people who offered an apology to the other person and were amazed that their words didn’t carry more weight.
Saying “I’m sorry,” is a great start but that is all it is … a start. It’s the start of a long race to rebuild trust, let bruised egos and hurt feeling heal. I’m sorry when said sincerely can carry a lot of weight but look at it this way. The action cut a deep wound in the other person, a wound that will need to be tended to stop the bleeding and prevent infection. A wound that may require bandages and stitches. A wound that even with top-notch care will still take time to heal and even then, will most likely leave a scar.
I’ve heard people who have cheated or stolen from a loved one express frustration that the other person wasn’t magically healed by the sound of an “I’m Sorry”; as if those words were synonymous to Abracadabra or Open Sesame! There is no magic to a verbal apology. As Bette Davis once said, “Buckle your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”
The aggrieved person is going to have to go through a healing process that includes: sadness, anger, not to mention doubts and questions. This is to be accepted and understood. Rushing someone through this process won’t speed it up but will actually slow it down.
Instead of being frustrated, try working on your side of things. The apology might have been the beginning of healing for the other person, but for you it’s the beginning of a lot of hard work. You now have to prove that you are worthy of their forgiveness. You’ve talked the talk, now you must walk the walk.
You must be honest.
You must be transparent.
You must be patient.
Most importantly, you must not repeat the past behavior.
A song once said that “Sorry seems to be the hardest word.” However, for the guilty party that hard word is followed by lots of hard work.