When we are little usually once we begin to walk and move around a bit we are taught to say sorry when we do things to others. I look at my own kids and my 1.5 year old daughter is into biting. When she does we say that’s not nice and say to her to say sorry to whom she’s bit. The reality of it is she doesn’t fully understand her actions. It’s a teaching tool. But what happens to adults as they grow and learn their actions have consequences?
We grow up and immediately feel the need to say the words sorry but if action don’t align with the words than the adult saying it is much like my daughter and repeating words. Think about it in relationships too when your mate says sorry but then repeats the offense. How does that make you feel? What is the person really saying?
No different than abusers who say the words just to get you to drop charges against them, to take them back, or to allow you to get close enough to repeat the action again. It’s about the action behind your words. On Tuesday night this blog was jumping at me and, I found myself listening to things around me. I started listening to my actions.
People will take advantage of your sorry especially when they feel like you don’t mean it. People will take advantage of your sorry when they feel like you’re always using it. I’ve heard people say she’s always doing something. She’s always sorry. People are a mess. The only thing you can do is to be conscious of your actions lining up with your words. When you do that you won’t have to use sorry so many times.
You know I’m all about looking from the inside out. So how many times have you been the sorry woman or man but didn’t align your actions to your words? Its easy for us to say how others have done to us but until we take responsibilities for our actions we can’t call someone else’s issues to the rug without judgement.
I’m not suggesting that you don’t say sorry. Some adults don’t even have the sense to use it when they really should. What I’m saying is if you’re going to say it don’t say it to offer a band aid with no ointment for healing. Don’t use it to shut a person up because you’re tired of hearing a person’s complaint. Don’t use it just to say you said it but don’t really mean it. Don’t say it to gain leverage.
Just like with my toddler, as she grows up we will teach her to know why she’s saying it. My other two children are learning what it means to hurt someone’s feelings or to cause physical harm. We don’t make them automatically say sorry until they can say why they are saying and what they plan on doing to fix the situation. Some adults can take a cue from my 3 and 6 year old.
The next time you offer a sorry know why you’re using it, what you plan to do to change the situation, and that saying sorry may not change the person’s view of you. Yes that last part is key. Apologies sometimes work the same way forgiving others in that it’s more for you, or your peace. Some people are miserable and you can really change your entire life and they still won’t see the good in you.
I have plenty of miserable people I associate with. I even have some family that I associate with because of it. Remember that sorry is a useful tool to have and when used correctly can bring about change. Sorry doesn’t always heal all wounds just like sometimes time doesn’t either. Other people still use foggy glasses when they view you.
I talk about family a lot because the relationships in them are some of the biggest source of hurt for many people. They are supposed to be the first source of love, support, and help. For many including myself that’s not always the case. You can say sorry to family and they can use it against you to bring about a wealth of further wounds. Think I’m off you must not read my Ask Toi.
Be sorry for what you have done but don’t let sorry ride you. That’s when you see the many defeated people who live “sorry lives.” These are the ones who usually make excuses for what someone did or didn’t do for them. These are the ones who can’t let other’s offenses go because they haven’t learned to forgive themselves.
Today I admonish every reader today to take an internal exam of themselves. I admonish you to really think about when you say sorry. Don’t let others make you feel sorry for things you already changed and forgave. Take the time to allow sorry to bring forth change in you even if it does nothing for whom you may have offended.