Sometimes doing something wrong and simply saying, “I’m sorry” isn’t enough. And while admitting your mistakes is a good start, it’s not the end. Look at it this way. Say you accidentally spill a glass of water all over the kitchen table and accidentally splash your significant other. Then you say, “I’m sorry.” Are you done? Of course not. You will go on to clean up the mess so you can begin fresh. What’s more, if the two of you are in this together, your special someone will readily lend a hand to repair the mistake with you.
What if we apply this to arguments, harsh words, or thoughtless actions? What if we make an agreement to clean up our messes together, regardless of who spilled the water? We’re bound to fall off the rails sometimes, but it’s what we do to get back on track that matters. In order to say you’re sorry and move on effectively you must do these three things.
Apologize- Admit you’re wrong and own the situation, take blame and vow to do better next time.
Forgive- Now, this is harder because it has nothing to do with you, but the other person involved. Hopefully, they will acknowledge your apology and forgive you for your mistake.
Begin Again- Unresolved feelings dig deep. So, when you let go of the small slights and even the big wounds as they happen, you can heal and can begin again.