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The art of apology

Updated: Jul 15, 2021


Our first instinct when we fall short in one way or another is to defend ourselves as a method of avoiding criticism, rejection or punishment. The struggle with admitting our mistakes might have a correlation with our beliefs about ourselves. Sometimes, it's a deep feeling of unworthiness that triggers a stronger defensive response to avoid anything that might confirm this feeling and sometimes it can be pure pride. And while denying our wrong-doings might seem to protect our fragile self-esteem, it'd more likely make us look at fault and highlights our insecurity and fear of judgment, thus results in the opposite outcome.

On the other hands, secure and confident individuals don’t associate their self-worth with their mistakes and how others react to them. They simply see their mistakes as (mistakes) not as a reflection of their whole identity. Detaching self-worth from personal flaws or bad actions keep us objective and practical so there is less room for emotional responses when we are being called out. Simply admit it, fix it if possible then move on. Detaching our identity from our unintended mistakes doesn’t only give us the strength to apologize but also provides the ability to apologize in a way that is both genuine and confident.

Once we own our mistakes and examine them as if they were someone else’s, we take back our power from whoever we might be afraid of their judgment because now we are our own judge.

Being able to admit your mistakes in the following manner: "I realize that what I said or did was inappropriate and even hurtful. I wouldn’t like it if someone said or did this to me. I apologize for my harsh words and hurtful actions. I hope you can forgive me and know that what I did doesn’t reflect how I view you. I’m sorry."

Mastering the art of apology doesn't only free us from the fear of being found at fault or imperfect, but it also allows others to forgive us when they see that we recognize our mistakes and their impact. It encourages other to be brave enough to do the same and it creates an open and effective communication patterns with those we interact with. The biggest victory would be defeating the ego and replacing it with humility and empathy. What a wonderful world that would be if we all become masters of apology.


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بقلم: أميرة عيسي اختصاصية في التعديل السلوكي والعلاقات الاجتماعية الخطأ الأول: الانتقاد المباشر والمستمر كثير من الإباء والامهات يظنون ان توجيه الانتقاد المباشر للطفل يساعده عليَ تصحيح اخطاءه. برغم ان

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