Most of us get along with the people around us, most of the time. But every so often, a conversation or situation can go sideways; an argument blooms, or feelings get hurt. Conflict and disagreements are natural parts of connecting with other people, so it’s important for us to know how to handle these fraught moments. And a crucial part of working through any clash is to acknowledge the hurt between us and the other person — often through an apology.
It can be difficult to apologize when we’re feeling wounded or angry. But if we had a part in the breakdown, it’s important to also do our part to reach out, even if it feels embarrassing or awkward, or means swallowing our pride. According to a 2020 study, the presence of an apology makes it much more likely that the relationship can be repaired. Really, apologizing is an expression of affection: We’re telling that person that we care more about them than some temporary discomfort.
To help set you on the right path, we’ve collected quotes about the importance of apologies, and what constitutes a sincere one. Hopefully, they can help you build your relationships to become even stronger.
I have learned to accept my responsibility and to forgive myself first, then to apologize to anyone injured by my misreckoning.Maya Angelou
A stiff apology is a second insult… The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.G.K. Chesterton
An apology offered and, equally important, received is a step towards reconciliation and, sometimes, recompense. Without that process, hurts can rankle and fester and erupt into their own hatreds and wrongdoings.Margaret MacMillan
An apology is the superglue of life. It can repair just about anything.Lynn Johnston
It’s more than saying sorry. It’s meaning it. It’s letting the apology change things. But an apology is where it has to begin.Neil Gaiman
I've treated you unkindly, can't you see? / Ooh, there's no one more important to me / So, darling, won't you please see through me?Leon Russell
Apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift.Margaret Lee Runbeck
Sorry doesn’t take things back, but it pushes things forward. It bridges the gap. Sorry is a sacrament. It’s an offering. A gift.Craig Silvey
I'm sorry / Two words I always think / After you've gone / When I realize I was acting all wrongFeist
Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them.Bruce Lee
It’s always best to ask for forgiveness if you feel that you made a mistake. And again, asking for forgiveness is not just saying the words “I’m sorry”; it is also offering what you need to do.Grace Poe
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