Well, a friend of mine told me what happened to him and his wife. They had occasional spats, but never anything serious. Then one time, they had a really big fight. It went on for days. He told me she was clearly in the wrong, and there was no way he was going to let it go.
So I asked, “What happened?”
“She finally came to me on her hands and knees,” he replied.
I was astonished. “Really?”
“What did she say?” I had to ask.
“She said, ‘Get out from under that bed and talk to me, you coward!'”
I hope you find that story as entertaining as I did. I think that many people, especially us optimists who read romance, expect our loved ones to give us a classic apology, right out of a Hollywood movie. But that doesn’t happen in real life very regularly. Hardly ever. Okay, maybe never at all.
Really, the point of the story is to communicate about the problem. Most people don’t do something just to hurt someone they love, so there has to be more to the story. But we don’t listen very well, do we? (Wait, what did you just say?) While the other person is talking, we spend our time planning our comebacks! A great technique I just learned about is for each person to repeat back what their partner just said.
But does that mean we never have to say we’re sorry? Is love enough by itself? I sure don’t think so. We apologize to strangers and casual acquaintances for any small infraction. Most people still want to hear those words. We need to show at least as much courtesy to our loved ones as we do to others.
But what if you’re one of those people who just doesn’t feel comfortable coming out and saying, “I’m sorry” to your loved one? Is it really necessary?
Well, there are plenty of ways to apologize without using words…