Sunday, March 22, 2009

Apologize and make up

I came to know only after several years of married life that one small apology to my wife did wonders what hours of explanations failed to do. The one sentence”I am sorry, darling, that I hurt you with my words” had a magic charm about it. Years of being together we loved each other very much but also quarreled as much on petty issues. I often forgot the small jobs she gave me like posting a letter, sending a money order to her aged mother or ringing up the AC mechanic. When she found the unposted letter after three days or the unsent MO and asked me, I would say “I was busy and forgot” as if it was an adequate justification for my lapse She would be hurt not for the job remaining undone but for the lack of remorse In the anger of the moment I always spoke to hurt only to regret later. But I knew she would forgive me for anything said or done if I sincerely realized my mistake and said sorry. But ego would often stand in my way to make the first move even If I were at fault. I will wait to see whether she comes around without an apology. But when I see her prolonged hurt face, I would say ”OK, what is it you want? You want me to apologize for hurting you, is it? I never meant it that way. If you still want it, ok here is my apology.” There would be utterly no grace, no sense of remorse, no consideration but just an attempt to repair the damage done. She would quietly tell me, “No, I never asked for an apology nor do I want one. It would be enough if you realized you were at fault and felt sorry for it. What is the use of an apology if there is no sincerity behind it?”
So what are the ingredients for a good apology?
A good apology should be sincere. It should not be a conversational ritual. It is an admission of a fault.
Apology should be voluntary and not as a response to one sought for.
Apology should not be demanded
Apology should be prompt and immediately after the event to ring true and have a disarming effect.
Apology should not be condescending in tone.
Apology should not be on quid pro quo basis.
The person to whom an apology has been tendered should not gloat over the fact but make light of it. An apology should not be construed as an act of surrender or submission. The other person should not be left to feel degraded.
By acknowledging wrongs and seeking forgiveness, there is a renewed affection and trust making lives happy and less of conflict


  1. Beautifully conveyed message. It is all the more appealing because of the personal touch in it.

    What does a person do if inspite of sincerely apologising, he/she is not forgiven? It hurts a lot.

    Thank you for this wonderful post, KP. Have a happy day :)


  2. Unfortunately few ppl realise this, I think if each one of us leaving our ego aside should sincerely apo;ogise for the wrongs that we do, life would become much better. A great message conveyed in a simple yet and effective way:)as always..

  3. Yes Sir. It makes a lot of difference in any relationship. This applies both ways between a husband and wife, it would make life more balanced and cherished.Nice one Mr.KP.