I have been doing a series on dating and relationships (how to date, where to meet guys, important things when dating) I am considering following this up with a singleness series...
I think an important part of relationships (and not just dating relationships) is the ability to apologize WELL. or for some people, just learning to apologize would be a step up. This past week I had a situation where I had to accept that someone who had wronged me was not going to apologize, just pretend nothing happened. So, eventually I swallowed my pride and started acting like things were normal. This frustrates me because the issue was never resolved.
One plus from this situation is that it got me thinking how horrible this would be for Dave and me if we didn't apologize. I thought of how when he wrongs me or I wrong him, I am always so relieved for an apology and resolution.
Men, this is important to women because we hate to feel things are not okay. Also, we place a high value on being understood. So, when someone I am dating sees how he upset me and acknowledges that, it makes me feel immediately better because he understood what hurt me. Basically, an apology is like saying "I am sorry I did not understand or show you love by _____"
Women, men need apologies because they need respect. I know, personally, when I am apologizing, its oftentimes for being too critical, too quick to react and get upset. Essentially I am saying "I am sorry I was so disrespectful that I _____"
No one likes a half-a** apology. No one likes to apologize all the time while the other person doesn't make an effort. No one likes when situations are swept under the rug with no apology.
Here are a few apology tips:
1. Acknowledge what you did wrong. Don't pin it on them.
SAY: "I am sorry that I snapped at you. I was wrong to overreact."
NOT: "I am sorry you got upset over what I said."
2. Ask forgiveness
3. Ask how you can make it right/offer to make it right...either now or in the future.
Example: I know I hurt you by being overly critical about this issue, I've been grumpy lately because
I'm tired. Can I take a night to rest and discuss it over coffee/ice cream/dinner tomorrow?
5. When in doubt, apologize. Were you grumpy or inconsiderate? Just say, "hey, I was moody with you this morning and I'm sorry."
6. Have some grace.
Obviously there is a place for grace in apologies. Sometimes people don't know you're upset or may know that he or she upset you but want to just move on and not address it, so you have to decide if its a big enough issue that it will be hard for you to move on without bitterness. Sometimes its not a big deal (unkind words because he/she was tired) and sometimes it is a big deal. Sometimes, you are gracious and move on and sometimes you lovingly bring it
Part of having grace is accepting the apology and offering forgiveness.
7. Don't make one person initiate all the time.
Often times, both parties were wrong....one was inconsiderate and then the other snapped, etc.... It's frustrating if one person always initiates the apology process, so make sure that sometimes you acknowledge your sin first and seek forgiveness. Better yet, both parties should be racing to make things right before the other one...outdo eachother in love right?
8. Apologize....then move on.
Sometimes, an apology may require some discussion...on how things can be handled better, etc....but once you offer that forgiveness, let go of your resentment.