The process of knowing when and how to apologise involves a great deal of maturity and awareness. However, should there be a desire to repair a relationship, then the required apology would need to not only be meaningful but followed by a change of behaviour.
So what when someone in your life has hurt you and refuses to admit to any involvement? It can be a challenge for both, creating long term resentment and impacting mental wellbeing. The alternative is a complete breakdown of a close relationship that impacts the parties involved and all those who know them. Although there can be many reasons for an absence of apology; to protect their pride, they didn’t feel as if they were wrong, or they never even gave it a second thought, it doesn’t make the hurt any easier. One of the most significant challenges is reframing our understanding of forgiveness. Frequently it is assumed that forgiveness must be with reconciliation. However, this is not the case.
Forgiving others should be important because of the added benefits for you. The act of forgiveness can reduce anger, anxiety and depression levels whilst improving self-esteem and feelings of hope. Despite all this, it doesn’t change the fact that many find forgiveness hard. Often, it is due to the perception that it is excusing the wrongdoing or/and forgetting it even happened.
Although it is deeply frustrating and upsetting if you feel you deserve an apology, choosing to forgive is something you can do to initiate your healing process. Forgiveness is something that can be both privately and internal. Apologies are ultimately less about fault and more about relationship repair. A person who is seeking reconciliation would look to apologise. There is no clearer signal that there’s no desire to repair your relationship than an absence of an apology.
So if you have been awaiting an apology before forgiving someone who has hurt you, I hope this is the first step to moving on.