When ever you hurt someone you create a relationship barrier. How do you get rid of this barrier to restore the relationship? You have to apologise. When you apologise you achieve several things:-
1. Remove the relationship barrier as far as you can from your side. (Of course if the hurt person choses not to forgive you they then maintain the barrier and the relationship at best remains static or deteriorates.)
2. Removes Guilt. When you deliberately hurt someone you will experience guilt. Guilt can only be removed by apologising. If you hold on to guilt there can be very serious negative long term physical, emotional and spiritual consequences (see section on "Emotional Cup")
3. Helps the hurt person to forgive. It is always easier to forgive if you have received a proper apology.
To apologise is more than saying sorry. Different people are looking for different things in an apology. There is a language of Apology. (See diagram below) Research shows that 70% of couples have different languages of apology. 15% of couples the language of one is the least important to the other and visa versa. So the language of apology is very much like the Love Language (See section)
EXERCISE - What are your preferred langauges of apology. Guess what is the main language of your partner/colleague etc. If in doubt use all 5 languages of apology when making an apology. You will be amazed at the positive outcome.
EXAMPLE: Scenario: Late for meeting with colleague. An apology, using all 5 languages to cover your bets, could go something like this... Fred, am I so sorry I was late for the meeting. I know if I were in your position I would have been pretty fed up because I felt that I had made the effort to be on time despite my busy schedule. Look I dont have any excuse I just did not get my act together. Why dont I buy you a drink at the bar after work. I know I am not very good at keeping time. Next time you arrange a meeting would you be kind enough just to e-mail me in the morning to remind me as I dont want to be late in future. I am so sorry . I hope you will accept my apology!
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