Everyone has done things in their past that they regret. We have all escaped apologies that we should have given. It kind of a part of growing up. You make mistakes, hopefully you apologize and made amends. However, there will be times were the apologies don’t happen for whatever reason. Whether it be lack of acknowledgement or just no desire to make the amends a lot of apologies get skipped and disregarded.
As you reflect on your past you will come to realize a lot of apologies were never given even when they were rightfully deserved. You will want to dial all of the numbers in your phone you’ve ignored over the course of months and/or years to drop apologies to people that you've hurt. You will want them to see the growth you have made and want to let them know you feel guilty about the pain you caused. You will want to message them some variation of “I’m sorry”
Well I am here to tell you, DON’T!
At the time that you hurt someone and failed to offer an apology it forced them to grieve and emotionally heal themselves despite not receiving an apology. While grieving they got used to the idea of you no longer being a part of their life. It occurred to them that it was easy for you to dissolve the relationship while they were forced to handle their emotions, alone. They cried out of anger and felt completely abandoned while you simply and merely walked away. They grew from the issue and learned to rely on themselves. They learned to live in a life that no longer includes you and they are finally okay with that. Then randomly out of the blue, the dreadful message appears on their phone: “I’m sorry”
In a single instant millions of emotions come swarming back in without any warning. They are forced to remember every disagreement and argument you’ve ever had without any regard to their feelings. They have remembered all the torturous nights where they had to deal the feelings that revolved around you. You selfishly re-entered a life that was finally okay without you only for you to say “sorry” way too late.
And for what?
So that you could sleep better at night knowing the pain that you caused was somehow erased with a half baked apology on a whim two years later? So that you no longer feel the guilt of what you made someone else feel? Take the hit and do better next time, but do not, I repeat do not reopen someone else’s trauma and emotional baggage for you to offer an apology they’ve already moved on without. It’s is incredibly insensitive and counterproductive to reinsert yourself into the life of someone who has made it a point to stay out of yours.
It’s easy to fall victim to this. I completely understand wanting to right your wrongs and make amends with people for your wrongdoing, but I urge you to exercise caution. If being a better version of yourself is the objective being mindful in that practice is required. What you think is best for you is not always what’s best for the situation. Take a moment to consider whether you reaching out helps or further hurts the person you wish to apologize to. Sometimes staying out of their way is the best way to practice being apologetic and empathetic. If you truly care about making amends you will want them to foster growth and emotional healing whether OR NOT those things include you.