This blog post was written by guest blogger Tilde Guajardo – Founder & CEO of Womanars, Activator, Speaker, Author, Facilitator & Visionary.
Are you aware of how many times you say “I’m sorry” in a day?
If not, I highly suggest you start to count. It’s a BAD habit we all have and we end up apologizing for silly things, like starting a conversation or email with “I’m sorry to bother you”, “I’m sorry but can you help me?”, or “I’m sorry but I don’t understand”. In apologizing so often, we shrink ourselves and our value. Stop apologizing for silly things and save your apologies for things that really matter.
How many times do we hear stories of families or friends who have been split apart for years because they refuse to speak to each other due to an argument and neither side is willing to set aside their pride and apologize?
When I was younger, my ego kept me from apologizing for things I said or did because I thought it was a sign of weakness. Here’s what I’ve learned in my own life, an apology, if done for the right reasons, can be like magic and have the power to repair harm, heal relationships, wounds and broken hearts. It is not a weakness or a social nicety, it is a powerful practice.
An apology shows respect and empathy, and while it can’t undo past actions, if done sincerely and effectively it can undo the negative effects of those actions.
People are becoming more aware of ideas like empathy and sensitivity, and everywhere we are being encouraged to talk about our feelings, to seek help and to connect with others. Gone are the days of keeping everything bottled up inside to suffer alone.
As we move forward in this time of self-knowledge and self-discovery, it’s important to develop the ability to recognize and own our mistakes. Nobody is perfect and we will all do something to hurt another person at some point in our lives. The difference, however, lies in acknowledging that we have done something wrong. Equally important, is the ability to receive an apology and move forward.
Apologizing is crucial to our mental and even physical health. Research shows that receiving an apology has a noticeable, positive physical effect on the body. An apology actually affects the bodily functions of the person receiving it—blood pressure decreases, heart rate slows and breathing becomes steadier. You likely prolong your lifespan by sincerely apologizing.
Here are some benefits of an Apology to receivers and givers:
- We rid ourselves of guilt & self-reproach
- Increase self-respect
- Increase vulnerability & intimacy
- A good reminder to NOT to do it again
- Opens the door to forgiveness
Apologizing is a beautiful practice as it can heal and empower both the receiver and giver at the same time. As you read this article, did someone or something come to mind that warrants an apology? If so, there is no time like the present.
I hope this has helped you to think about how and when to use the words “I’m sorry” next time. If so, I’d love to hear from you and have you tell me how this has helped you, you can also email me with any questions you might have on Apology.
Tilde is an entrepreneur, author, facilitator, TEDx Speaker & Organizer, start-up consultant, investor and global leader. She has over 20 years of experience in diverse leadership roles with experience in team development and management, curriculum and program development, event organization and planning, entrepreneurship, as well as leveraging global partnerships.
To contact Tilde click here.