How To Say I’m Sorry…When You Don’t Really Want To

Mirror Mirror on the Wall…How do I say “I’m Sorry,” when I don’t want to at all?

Let’s admit it, sometimes we know the right thing to do is to say we’re sorry if only to reset communications in effort to move forward, but we really don’t want to. Maybe that other person hurt us first. Or maybe they are “more” to blame or inflicted more damage. Sometimes though, we need to be the instigator of change, even if it means swallowing our pride and electing to eat crow.

Coincidentally, this week such a situation presented itself.

When faced with the task of apologizing to someone who figuratively threw the first punch and launched the first insult, a certain someone in the family balked at the idea. Besides not thinking it was fair, he didn’t know how to issue a sincere apology while still feeling hurt. And that is a very fair question.

When apologizing when you don’t really want to, my best advice is to visualize a mirror instead of the face of the person who hurt you. Imagine that you are looking at your own reflection, and apologize to that person (aka yourself). When we put ourselves in the position of the person receiving our retaliations, come backs, and defensive replies, we can best understand how our own words inflicted pain. We put ourselves in a position of empathy because we know what we’ve done and how it would feel. By acting as if we are apologizing to ourself, we feel and revel genuine remorse for our actions. 

Our ego doesn’t like us to hurt. So when we feel hurt, the ego wants to fight and defend. But when using the mirror approach to apologizing, we see that it is us, it is we – it is me – who is making me hurt. And nothing could be more true. We are all connected by God. The Loving Universe adores us all equally, and made us each unique but similar, different but the same. The same Source is in each of us. And each of us will return to the same Divine Creator. We are connected. Our Creator is the same. So when we hurt each other, by default, by shear definition alone, we are in turn hurting ourselves. Maybe that’s too big a picture to paint to help “apologize to this jerk,” but ultimately, “we are the jerk.”

That’s the underlying truth: when we hurt others, when we judge others, when we condemn and criticize others, we are doing the same to ourselves. If we can remember that, then mirrors would become obsolete and apologies would be easy, if not all together unnecessary.

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