You’ve been wronged and you know it. But the person who wronged you hasn’t said, “I’m sorry.” How do you ask for the apology you deserve?
I’m all for directly stating what you need and what you want in a relationship. When you’ve been hurt and you need to ask for the apology you deserve, you won’t get it by saying, “You need to apologize to me.”
What will get you the apology you deserve is to ask to talk about what happened and how you feel.
What you deserve is not an apology where the other person says, “I’m sorry you feel hurt,” but where the person says, “I’m sorry that I have hurt you. What can I do to make this better?”
If something has transpired between the two of you and it continues to bother you, it’s worth bringing it up. “I’d like to talk with you about what happened and how hurt I’ve felt since then.”
Why You Deserve an Apology
Be clear in your own mind that you don’t need an apology in order to feel better. You’re capable of nurturing yourself and of choosing how you feel. Your feelings are not dependent upon others apologizing to you, no matter how they’ve hurt you.
“I am sorry,” are words that you deserve to hear because you have been treated as less than equal by the other person. When you don’t insist on an apology, you’re signaling that it is okay to treat you this way.
If you aren’t willing to stand up for yourself, no one else is going to either.
Giving others a chance to say, ‘I am sorry,” is a chance to put the two of you back on equal footing, and on track for a lasting, effective and healthy relationship. Asking for the apology you deserve gives them the benefit of the doubt and a chance to make amends.
You are also acting on your power to return the relationship to equal footing. If you don’t get the apology you deserve, you can also act on your power to let go of the relationship because it’s not working for you.
You are worthy of love and respect. You treat others well because you want them to treat you well. You also need to treat yourself well to signal to others that you expect them to treat you well.
The Apology You Deserve
An apology is an acknowledgement of four very important things.
- What they did or said has an impact on you.
- Their words or actions were a mistake they regret.
- They respect you and value your relationship.
- Their words or actions have damaged your trust in them as someone who cares about you and can be counted on to do the right thing.
Some adults find it incredibly hard to apologize so don’t hold out for the perfect Hollywood script apology. Most people aren’t capable of delivering that kind of apology, especially if they haven’t had time to prepare their words. Be lenient. Accept fumbles. Seek to hear that they understand that what they did was hurtful, that they accept responsibility and that they value you.
Once you have been apologized to, acknowledge and accept the apology, and forgive them.
Live Honest, Open and True
Asking for what you need is an important way to maintain and build relationships with others.
Are you still waiting for that apology?
Have you tried asking?
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Tweet: Can we talk about getting the apology you deserve? A blog post by D’Anne Hotchkiss
Does someone owe you an apology? Will you ask for what you need? Tweet your decision to me @lifeishotblog with the hash tag #LifeIsHOT