Think back to the times when you had to apologize for being wrong.
Remember that frog sitting in your throat and how difficult it sometimes was to let out all the words you wanted to say? Apologizing for your misdoings is not easy. Emotions run high and the mood is unstable.
To make things go smoothly, both the person apologizing as well as the person receiving the apology must play their cards right. People study how to effectively apologize for their wrong-doings but the art of receiving an apology is not often entertained.
In your analysis of what it takes to be good at receiving apologies from others, place yourself back in the shoes of giving one. Remember exactly how you felt the last time you said, “I’m sorry.” The best feeling for someone who is apologizing is to have their apology accepted without any stipulations added on. As the person receiving an apology, you should make it a priority to accept the apology without mentioning anything else about the subject at hand.
The apology should be a finale to any conversation about the matter, and you should do your best to move on from the happenings that led to the apology taking place.
Below is some insight as to why you want to accept apologies without providing added commentary.
Respect Others’ Courage to Say Sorry
Acknowledge the difficulty that comes with saying sorry. Even though the apology of another many not encompass all the content which you look for, you need to ignore that fact and be happy with what you get. Unless the person apologizing has totally got it wrong, you should accept and respect whatever they can muster up. The action of apologizing is more important than the content of the apology. Once it is established that there is genuine regret for the actions committed or words said, you should move onto happier times at once.
Adding knit-picky commentary on top of an apology will encourage increased negativity from those who apologize. They have already bowed down and placed their ego to the side. Do not attempt to further demoralize them by not being happy with the content of their apology. The end-goal of apologies is to remain friendly with each other, and not being happy with an apology is akin to not being happy with a birthday gift you receive. You can complain, but you’ll look ungrateful doing it. The center of attention will transfer from the person apologizing to you being difficult, and your reputation will suffer in the eyes of any onlookers.
Respect the courage people muster up to say they’re sorry. You will need to apologize going forward in life, and you will appreciate others accepting your apology without commentating on why it isn’t good enough.
Do Not Kick People Who Are Down
People will remember any acts of power you display when others are down and out. The reception of an apology, is not the time to flex your power. Match the ego which the one apologizing has adopted, and be sensitive to the fragility of the situation. They’re going through a difficult time, and you making it worse will be remembered. People are vengeful, both those you directly communicate with and onlookers alike. Should the time come for you to apologize, they will make sure to return any favors of demeaning actions that you showed in the face of receiving an apology yourself. Treat the apologies of others as an investment into the times when you’ll screw up, as you are bound to in the future. Be confident that the one apologizing remembers the experience as a positive one rather than one filled with you relishing in the power which comes with receiving an apology.
Accept the apologies that you receive, and do so in a caring and comforting manner. Their respect for you will rise, and you will be seen as gracious in the eyes of others watching. Limit their level of embarrassment during apologies and don’t relish in the moment. Get it over quickly and move onward to better times.