Sometimes, we act in ways that are less than comfortable. It’s human. It’s why we have the words: “I’m sorry”. These words heal and bridge the gap.
We don’t have to say sorry, though, if we didn’t do anything wrong. A sense of shame can keep us apologising for everything we do, every word we say, even for being alive, or for simply being who we are.
We don’t have to apologise for taking care of ourselves, for dealing with our feelings, setting good boundaries, having fun or getting healthy. We never have to change course, if it’s in our best interest. Sometimes, though, a general apology can be useful to acknowledge the other person’s feelings when the issues surrounding the situation or relationship are not clear. We might say, “I’m really sorry about the fuss we had. I’m sorry if what I needed to do to take care of myself hurt you: it was never intended that way.”
Once we make an apology, we don’t have to keep repeating it. If someone wants to keep on extricating an apology from us for the same thing, however, then that’s their problem and we mustn’t get hooked into their need for the drama.
We can learn to take our apologies seriously and not hand them out, willy-nilly, especially when they’re not valid. When we feel good about ourselves, we always know when it’s time to say sorry and when it’s not. Be clear and healthy about your apologies by only taking full, personal responsibility for your own actions, not everyone else’s.