Sometimes people think that an apology will give them closure from a previous hurt. Maybe a parent didn’t protect you the way you feel they should have. Maybe a friend or a significant other didn’t show up for you in the way you needed. The words themselves can be a beautiful gesture, but they don’t always indicate regret. Repeated apologies for the same thing might make us question their sincerity. The fact that they don’t come doesn’t always mean that the person does not have regret. Many things influence the form an apology might take, including up bringing and personal values. If “I’m sorry” wasn’t expressed in words but in actions as a person was growing up, he or she may express it that way for the rest of their lives. For people who grew up in homes where apologies never came- wherein the grievance was ignored as if it didn’t happen- they might not even understand the significance of the apology. Forgiveness isn’t always about being able to absolve the other person, but being able to know that the situation did not detract from or lessen our value. It’s about knowing someone respects our worth and our feelings enough to be responsible when we feel that disrespect has occurred. An apology is not so much an admission of guilt as a way to show that we honor the feelings of the people around us, even if we don’t identify with them or understand them.
Look for a follow up about forgiveness.