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**Once again, please make sure to click on and read the links on the bold print words.  This will really help you understand and grown from today’s post**

I’ve talked about how to say that you’re sorry.  I have gone over that you should seek understanding of how you’ve hurt someone more than getting their forgiveness.  Yet, something else occurred to me today.

You see, to simply say, “That hurt my feelings” is too general and not enough information to relay to the person who hurt you.  If that’s all that you do, don’t be surprised when all you get back (in the best case scenario) is, “Sorry.”  Yes, this is better than them explaining why they did what they did or why it shouldn’t have “hurt” you.  Far better.  However, it does not really promote healing in a relationship (not just spousal, friends, family members too) let alone growth.  It pacifies and tables the hurt issues to the next infraction.

If you have read the above links you have seen where I say that it is important to be specific in how they have hurt you.  In the same exact way you need to be specific in how you apologize for hurting another.  If Rachel (theoretically…not really, this happened years ago…in so many words) were to say to me, “When you didn’t call me all day I was really worried.  Not that I thought that anything horrible had happened.  I just was worried.” and all I did was say, “sorry” does that really convey that I understand how I’ve hurt her?  No.  Further, and the mini revelation I had this morning, what if I were to not only verbally apologize but then follow it with a hug?  All better now?  If you know Rachel at all you are most assured that the answer is no.  Why?  Because she doesn’t need or want affection in that moment.

Instead, what if I were to look at her and say, “Wow, I can totally see how you waiting to hear from me all day left you feeling uneasy at best and scared at worst?  I’m really sorry I didn’t do that.  It was wrong.  Why don’t I at least text mid morning and give you call in the afternoon?  Would that help you feel more secure?”  Of course it would!  Now, I have shown that I understand how I’ve hurt her, that I was wrong, and taken steps to not leave her feeling alone.

In the previous example where I hugged her I have done very little compared to what I accomplished with the best case scenario I’ve relayed in the previous paragraph.  Keep in mind, in many relationships, THAT would be huge step up.  So, try to be specific both in relaying HOW you’ve been hurt but also how you apologize for hurting another.  Granted, the more you know about the person and how well they have conveyed the hurt is huge in this process.  Just don’t be quick and in a hurry to apologize so that you can both…”move on.”

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