I'm Sorry

I'm Sorry

There are some amazing anecdotes for conflict resolution. Quite sadly, I can’t think of any of them when I receive an email I don’t like or argue with a friend. I’ve always loved the saying, “It is better to be happy than to be right”. And now, “love means saying you’re sorry” is one of my favorites! (Should that be a t-shirt in the Compliment line?)

People in all types of relationships are bound to bump heads, but it’s what you do after conflict  that matters.

So while apologizing excessively can be a problem, I thought I would share a couple of instances in which love truly does means saying you’re sorry.

When you’re saying:

  • I’m sorry that I hurt your feelings

  • I’m sorry that you missed your deadline

  • I’m sorry that I misunderstood

  • I’m sorry for the inconvenience caused

  • I’m sorry for the break in communication

  • I’m sorry for my error

Can you think of more? As evolved and intelligent people who read at least 1,000,000 books on Kindle and listen to podcasts every morning before the sun comes up, we can easily fall into the habit of prolonging conflict by having long conversations on morality, perspective and preventative measures. Sometimes we forget that these conversations are just as and even more effective after saying two simple words.

I’m sorry.

Instead of addressing why the conflict exists in the first place, how it can be avoided in the future, just think of what you’re sorry for. Express that to your colleague or loved one - and watch the discussion move in a positive direction!

And yes, I know that an insincere apology is the worst. That’s why being intentional with our words is so important. That’s why taking responsibility and saying “I’m sorry for…” is such a positive way to start healing after conflict. It’s not some pie in the sky apology to end an argument or escape consequences - it’s acknowledging your role in conflict very clearly and desiring the best for the person you are apologizing to.

This is love. Love which goes above a smart mouth, heavily worded instant messages and passionate voice notes. Love which transcends a professional tone and the highest level of order. Love that says, I’m sorry.

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