ALLEVIATE HURT PAINS WITH APOLOGIES
In the last episode of BrojidStepUp, I shared with you how you can discern hurts; however, you don’t discern hurts for nothing. Discerning hurts is just one of the steps towards responding to the offence against people and you can’t stop there; you have to take steps that will cancel or minimize the effects of the offence.
You should move beyond ascertaining that you offended someone to apologising for it. Apologies do not undo offences or cancel hurts; however, it alleviates the pains of the hurt. That’s why I implore you to apologise first!
I understand that you have valid reason for the offence and you have excuses to marshal out; however, before you ever present your excuses, please apologise. Your apologies are beyond the word you speak; it’s more of the message you pass across you are sorry and care about your relationship. We often don’t realize this but that’s a matter of fact. Even the offended may not be consciously aware that apologies communicate a commitment to your relationship; and respect for the other part; but that’s what it does. She knows it subconsciously!
If you present the explanation you have for your offences first, it almost always sounds as justification you are giving for hurting someone and that’s something you don’t want to do. Offences hurt more when the offender is unapologetic or sorry. That’s why you should, both in your words, action and attitude, communicate to the offended that you are thoroughly sorry.
Please don’t apologize for the sake of it; apologize because you are sorry or at least for the sake of peace. For me, it’s better to accept the blame and maintain relationships that matter to me than insist that I am right and lose important relationships. Please bear in mind that in every relationship, one person should swallow his pride and take nonsense so that peace will reign. If you are too stubborn to let go of some of your rights and swallow your pride to apologise, you dig a deep grave for your relationship.
I have observed that generally, African parents don’t apologise to their children and African men hardly apologise to their wives. How they came about this ideology and lifestyle is what I don’t know; but I have seen negative consequences of such lifestyle. It’s something you and I must not repeat. ‘Bros, please apologise to your wife when you offend her; you won’t lose your erection for doing so! She is a human being just like you; not an inferior slave in your house. In the same vein, apologise to your children, that’s a good way to teach them humility.
I heard my pastor, Pastor Bankie, explain he doesn’t say negative things to his children one day, he asked his son, “Are you deaf?” He uttered it, I guess, out of anger and He felt so bad for that error and how the boy may feel. Nevertheless, he apologised to him. That’s a good practice you and I should imbibe; not our fruitless African practice!
I believe in apology even when I am sure I did nothing just for the sake of peace. However, I think I over did it when, for the sake of peace, I responded to an official letter containing false accusations against me with apology instead of explaining what happened to defend myself. Months after, the letter and my apologetic response was dug out and used against me. While I tried to explain what really happened, I was shown my letter with my signature and therefore told to shut up. So, I decided that to be on the safe side, you can verbally apologise for peace sake and not officially accepting that you committed offences you didn’t, especially on record.
When you discern that you have offended someone, please apologize to alleviate the pains of the hurt. Don’t just apologise, do it properly and make it heartfelt. Let every fiber of your being apologise and not just your words. Most people can detect when your apology is from your heart and when it’s not. By all means, make it real!