The Importance of Saying Sorry
I was watching the news this morning and was drawn to the story of President Obama going to Hiroshima, the first sitting US President to do so. The bit that interested me was protesters who are demanding that Mr Obama apologise for the dropping of the atomic bomb during the Second World War.
One can debate the rights and wrongs of this action, and have done for decades, but what I am looking at is the demanding of an apology. This is a common theme which comes through my office with clients who feel that they have been wronged be that by their spouse or their boss or some such person and they want to force an apology.
What I try to get clients to understand is that an apology must come from the heart of the apologiser. This means that for an apology to be valid, it has to be made freely and without cohesion. Otherwise, the apology is compromised and could well be invalid.
When people are wronged, the act of apologising, can be an essential step in closure. However, if this apology is not gained in an open an honest way, it can lead to additional psychological disturbances in individuals. So remember, never ask for an apology, but be open to one given to you freely.