(GoHealthier.com) – Apologizing when we’ve done something wrong is a good idea. If we’ve hurt another person’s feelings, saying we’re sorry may feel like the right thing to do. But should we be doing more to heal that relationship? There are some options besides apologizing that might help create healthier, stronger relationships.
Repair Efforts Go a Long Way
Saying we’re sorry still matters, but often the person we’ve wronged wants to see what we’re going to do about it. That’s the science behind the value of repair efforts. When a person apologizes for hurting someone else, they should also consider how they can make things right. That might mean stopping the problem from occurring again or making changes that improve the relationship for the future.
Make Repairs Early, and Make Them Often
When dealing with conflict or addressing concerns in a conversation, it’s important to start the repair process within the first few minutes. The longer the conversation goes without these repair attempts, the higher the potential for stronger conflict that doesn’t resolve as easily. In other words, when we say we’re sorry and try to make it right, we need to be proactive about doing that quickly and efficiently to show we’re serious. Those repair efforts need to continue to be part of the conversation, as well.
Start With Positivity
Starting from a place of positivity and the idea that “we’re in this together” may be one of the best ways to form healthier relationships and continue to improve them over time. Being positive shows a desire to work through conflict and come out on the other side, which may be very appreciated by the other person who feels they were wronged. The best apology really is changed behavior, and that should be the goal of repair attempts.
Be Receptive to Repair Attempts
The person who was wronged must be receptive for repair attempts to be successful. If the person doesn’t feel they’re ready to accept an apology or doesn’t want to work on the relationship, making repair attempts may not matter. In some cases, a person who feels as though they were wronged may not be interested in continuing the relationship. They may also need a bit of a break to think about the issue before they’re ready to work on repairs.
Take a Break From the Conflict
Taking a break from unresolved conflict and changing the subject may be a good way to reduce the stress associated with arguments and disagreements. That doesn’t mean ignoring the problem or avoiding attempts to make things right. It only means that sometimes, it’s good to remove ourselves from a conflict for a little while and revisit it later with a different frame of mind. Taking a short break may help with that.
Apologies are critical when we’ve wronged or hurt someone, but they often don’t go far enough toward making things right again. But repair behavior, along with an apology, might be the answer to resolving conflict. That can be true with any kind of relationship and isn’t specific to romantic partners. To have better relationships in our lives, repairing, healing, and nurturing those relationships is essential.
~Here’s to a Healthier Life!
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