How do you typically respond when someone apologizes to you? Do you tend to say “it’s okay” in response to the words “I’m sorry”?
Today, I want to talk about how to provide and accept apologies in a meaningful way.
I believe that forgiveness is a gift that we gift ourselves which is why it’s so important to practice it.
Why We Need To Stop Saying “It’s Okay”:
While it’s common to use the phrase “it’s okay” as a response to an apology, I think that doing so devalues the apology itself.
If we want to better accept apologies, I think we need to change the language that we’re using.
- When we say “it’s okay,” we don’t actually honor the apology being made. I think that phrase sort of brushes off the apology, which it makes it hard to reconnect to the person who made it. If the goal of forgiveness is to bring people closer together, we’re missing the mark by saying that it is okay. We don’t make the person feel any better with those words.
- I think that saying “it’s okay” also serves to diminish what the apology was made for in the first place. If it really WAS okay, they wouldn’t really need to apologize in the first place, right? It’s actually FANTASTIC to acknowledge that their action wasn’t okay because that is what allows you to genuinely accept the apology. Their apology is their taking accountability and ownership, and showing that they know that what they did was hurtful.
This is something that I’ve felt strongly about for years.
I have stopped saying “it’s okay” in response to someone sharing an apology. Instead, I respond with “I accept your apology and forgive you completely.”
Since swapping those phrases, I have seen a tremendous shift in how it feels to accept apologies.
This simple switch has made me feel more forgiving, AND it has made me feel closer and more connected to people after difficult situations. This phrase allows me to feel better, faster, after conflict… and who doesn’t want that?
The next time you hear someone apologize, try resisting the urge to tell them it’s okay and instead, think about whether you genuinely forgive them.
You might find that you’re not feeling forgiving, which gives you an opportunity to share more of what you’re feeling and start a meaningful dialogue with the person.
If you do feel forgiving, you’re able to truly accept the apology and move forward feeling closer.
What do you think? Will you try using the phrase “I accept your apology and forgive you” the next time someone gives you an apology?
Let me know what you think in the comments below!