I grew up in a family with 6 children. Yes, SIX. My mom was a superhero and my dad had the patience of Job. Fighting in a family of that size is inevitable and sometimes epic. The person I probably fought with the most was my younger brother Spencer.
Spencer and I were the two middle children of the six, so number 3 and 4. We are only 3 years apart and very opposite in most things. He was loud. I was quiet. He was fun. I was boring. He liked to bend the rules. I liked to obey them. He made people laugh. I made a good audience. But the one thing we both for sure had in common was our ability to fight . . . and possibly our sensitivity. But my sensitivity was the kind that got hurt easily and so I would shoot back with fiery words . His sensitivity was the kind that could see my hurt and understand it AFTER he had started the fire in the first place. But oddly enough, Spencer was the one who taught me how to say sorry.
He would start an argument with me. Sometimes it took only seconds to make one happen. And then seeing my immediate hurt or struggle, Spencer would often be the first to apologize. And it was never a flat, unfeeling apology. Spencer would completely humble himself and offer heart-felt sorrow for his actions. Then he would begin to build me back up. He would admit his wrongs and tell me all the good things he admired about me. And through tears from both of us, we would end the fight and move on.
In recent years, I've had the privilege of living near my brother again after many years away. We are both now mature with families of our own. Spencer and I have become really good friends over the years even after our many fights. We still argue, but often Spencer is the one other guy (besides my own husband) that I can talk to for hours. Sometimes I wonder what has brought us closer together, and I truly believe that it probably was the fighting. Not because the fighting itself was good for us, but mostly the apologies that came after. Each fight made us vulnerable but then our heartfelt "I'm sorry's" made us humble and compassionate again. We usually still didn't agree but in those apologetic moments we learned to understand each other. Our mistakes helped us learn to love each other.
Apologies are always hard. It's somewhat awkward to go up to someone and bluntly say that you are sorry for what you did. Sometimes the person is still hurt, and it will take them a while to forgive you. That's okay. Just remember that your sincerity and your love for them is really what will heal the wound, not what you say. Because apologizing is about making a change, it is your actions not your words that really change you. If you really are sincere then those you've hurt are more likely to forgive.
So to get you started when the words are hard to say, here are some easy and lighthearted ways to apologize to someone.
10 EASY WAYS TO SAY SORRY1. Food: Who would pass up a plate of cookies? This helps the "I'm sorry" go down with a spoonful of sugar, and is a simple expression of love
2. Note/Text: If you can't quite find the words to say it out loud, sending an apology through a note or a text can help you express how you feel
3. Silly Poem/Song: Humor and music can heal a wound, and make the apology less awkward to say
4. Say it in a Different Language: "Lo siento" or "Scusate" can help you say what you need to with a little humor to lighten the mood
5. Do a Chore: Service does wonders in opening up people's hearts to what you need to say
6. Restitution: Try and replace what they've lost if you can, or love them they way you did before you fought, usually helps the hard feelings disappear
7. Hug: A silent hug can communicate what words could never say
8. Patience: Sometimes after a they've been hurt, people need some time to cool off. And the next time you fight, try and show understanding to their side of the argument
9. Invite: After you've given the person you've hurt some time, it sometimes can help to invite them to do something with you, just to show that you still love them and are sorry for what happened
10. I'm Sorry Cards: Send them a card. And if all else fails say you can always apologize with one of our free printable I'm Sorry Cards (shameless plug, I know). There are 12 cards in all and they are lighthearted and fun.
Best of luck in all your future apologies.
And I hope you'll check out this video about finding true peace through 8 Principles of Peace.
FREE PRINTABLE APOLOGY CARDS
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