Guiding Light: Apologising With Grace

Guiding Light: Apologising With Grace

Dada J. P. VaswaniUpdated: Monday, July 01, 2024, 05:12 PM IST
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Representative Image | Vilius Kukanauskas/Pixabay

When we are in a position of having to seek others’ forgiveness, it is essential to apologise with grace. Apology is not defeat. Indeed it is a sense of victory over the self and over a bad situation which ceases to be irreparable once you apologise. Apology is also a spiritual triumph because it reduces tension, guilt, anger, and suffering on all sides.

Apology is not humiliation. It shows that we are mature enough to take responsibility for our actions. It also shows that we care about others’ feelings and value our relationship with them.

Here are a few tips that I read on giving and receiving an apology.

Do not shift the blame on to others. Assume responsibility for your actions and say, “It was my fault, and I am sincerely sorry.”

Look at the incident from the other person’s point of view. Try to understand his feelings. Tell him or her, “I understand how you feel.”

Try to explain how the mistake occurred.

Discuss a way out of the problem you have caused.

You may follow the apology with a gift or a token of your genuine feelings. If you have caused the loss of an object, you must offer to replace it.

When it is your turn to receive an apology look the person in the eye. Listen carefully to what he is saying.

Do not dismiss an apology with a curt, “That’s ok,” or “Forget it,” or “Doesn’t matter.” This creates the impression that you don’t really mean it.

Be gracious enough to thank the other person and appreciate his apology.

Accept the apology with genuineness and sincerity. Respond with positive feelings and put aside all anger and resentment.

Do not begin to list all the ways in which the other person has offended you. Do not get ‘historical’ – by bringing out all your past grievances against him.

Tell him how much better you feel after his apology.

Give your best to building up the relationship after the apology.

When an apology is given and taken in the right spirit, it can build strong bonds and increase mutual respect.

Dada J P Vaswani is a humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader

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