Do the apologies you are giving or receiving feel empty? Does it seem like the same things are being apologized for over and over again? This often happens when the apology is just saying the words, “I’m sorry,” rather than actually holding meaning and action.
There are three components that make up an effective apology. These components can be remembered by using the acronym EAR.
E-Empathy: The offender needs to show that they understand the depth of pain they caused.
A-Accountability: The offender needs to acknowledge that the offended party had a right to expect more from them (i.e., not “I’m sorry you’re so thin-skinned/can’t take a joke/ etc).
R-Restitution: The offender needs to demonstrate that they don’t just want to heal the damage done, but actually make the situation better than it was before by working to find ways and create a plan to prevent the offense from happening again.
Do you need help giving or getting a good apology? Are there people in your life who seem like they can’t follow these steps? Check out these resources:
God Help Me! These People Are Driving Me Nuts!
How To Heal Your Marriage & Nurture Lasting Love
Saying “sorry” and meaning it is about repairing relationship, not making ourselves feel better. Check out my latest column for Our Sunday Visitor
Lent is a time of reparation — a season of sorrow for sins committed and expressions of a sincere desire to reform our lives. But what does it mean to be sorry? What are the components of real remorse?
Whether we are expressing sorrow to God, a spouse, family member or friend, it can be hard to say, “I’m sorry.” It can be even harder to say it well. Sometimes, when people say that they are sorry to us, we can feel like there is something missing. Often, it’s because there is. But what? As we express our sorrow to God this Lent for the ways that our lives do not reflect his plan for us, it can be important to make sure our “I’m sorry’s” have all the components of sincere remorse. Researchers note that good apologies involve three ingredients: empathy, restitution and objective criteria.
Apologies missing any one of these component often feel lacking, or incomplete and that nagging feeling can make it hard to experience real reconciliation. Here’s why these three components are such an important part of a complete apology. (Continue Reading).