Thursday, May 10, 2007

What's Your Apology Language?

Ever heard that saying about no two people being the same? Well, I always knew that at the back of my mind but the practice of it, that's a different ball game. Hence, it isn't surprising to find out that we all have our own apology language and it is different from one person to the other.

This lady just messed up and if it was with a female friend, it would have been okay. I mean I could have gone on and on, tell her off, maybe not speak to each other for a few days and we both get over it. We would have called each other to ask, are you still mad at me and then move on. However, what do you do when that isn't the case? What do you do when you have messed up with a male friend and you let it drag on? Needless to say, he apologised for what did, you said it was okay. Yet you felt like you couldn't quite forget what happened. Talk about forgivin' ain't forgettin'. As a woman, while you don't make your feelings and you experience them, there comes a point when you say to those same feelings, I own you and I'll manage you not you managing me.

If I knew all of this, why did it take being on the brink of losing a friend to realise he meant it when he apologised? I would really like to make excuses but I can't find one that is good enough. However, I'm glad I came to my senses and decided to sort it all out. I believe in learning everyday and this was my opportunity to learn about our apology language. It varies from one person to the other. We all have our different ways of expressing our regrets. I didn't know that then but now that I do, I pray I don't make this mistake again.

It doesn't matter what he did, does. The bottom line is, he apologised. It was down to me to deal with it and let go. The lights came on with the last look he gave me a little while back and I knew ooops! Girl, you just messed up. So I thought about the best way to make things right, I knew an apology would be a start but I didn't know how. So I got myself a book and it was like a light bulb came on and my perspective changed. "The Five Languages of Apology - How To Experience Healing In All Your Relationships," by Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas, did for me this week what nothing else has done for me in a long time.

It explains the different roles of an apology in our various relationships, how to make and accept an apology and give forgiveness. Now that is a choice you make for yourself. It may take time to regain trust and let go of the disappointment but that all depends on the level of offence you felt was levelled at you. However, it really helps to let go because it makes you sick and miserable when you don't. There is no need putting up a front either because you know you are miserable and misery sure loves its own company.

I am not one for plugging books that mean nothing to me but I believe this book is now one of my favourite because I have learnt so much in one week than I have in years about what an apology means in a relationship. It doesn't matter if the offender or the offended is a friend, a spouse, sister or brother. This book deals with every aspect of an apology in a relationship, even in the workplace. It doesn't matter anymore who was right or wrong. What matters is that we move on and remain friends. I guess a little tiff isn't so bad at the end of the day.

Wow! That wasn't so bad after all.


Image from Amazon Books