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In Your Language

Monday, 9 November 2015

How to Ask for Forgiveness in Ten Steps

Courtesy Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo

The human experience is one that is filled with error, we are not perfect beings, quite far from it and at times the mistakes we make can destroy the trust we’ve built for our loved ones, whether that be a family member, a husband or wife, or a friend who has stuck with us through the best or the worst of times.
While the outcome cannot be determined to be favourable, what is certain is that these ten steps will start you on the way to being forgiven for what you‘ve done.

1.     Confess Your Error       

At times we tend to try to ignore our mistakes thinking that if we look away from it long enough it will eventually disappear.  This will never work. In order to admit your mistakes to the person or persons you have wronged, you first must be able to acknowledge it to yourself. This is not about duty either; a way to just get it over with and dismiss what the other person may have suffered because of it. Confessing you error is facing your mistake, taking full responsibility for it, accepting the consequences that it may bring, and then admitting it to those you’ve hurt.

2.     Be Sincere

Everyone makes mistakes, being a human being means you are not exempt from doing so, however it’s the way one approaches the admittance of an error can make or break the way the confession is received. Being cold and distant, prideful or egotistical will not score you points by any means. However, sincerity will, because despite the pain, and anger the other person may feel towards you whether they say it to you or not, they will respect your humility in leaving yourself vulnerable to be rejected for a wrongdoing. 

 Courtesy Michal Zacharzewski 2007

3.     Communicate Clearly

Leave no doubts in the message you are trying to convey, not only with the words you say but with your body language.  Don’t begin this important conversation with a closed off body language, like crossed arms or  not looking the person in the eyes. Keep your posture open, your face serious, and your heart above all else hopeful.

4.     Do Not Justify Yourself

Justifying your actions while asking for forgiveness is the worst thing you can possible do. It is not only dismissive of the other person’s feeling but tends to make you look like the only victim, in a situation where you were not. Do not make excuses for yourself, take responsibility and forge on ahead.

 Courtesy Alex Bruda 2011

5.     Prove Yourself to be Truthful

Words are all the rage, but action brings home the bacon. If you do not back your words up with tangible and verifiable acts that show you were indeed sincere when asking for forgiveness, you negate everything you said. Do not be that person, be better than that. If you said it, prove to  your loved that you are committing to rebuilding their trust in you.

6.     Accept the Consequences

The process of being forgiven is a not a short one, and during the actual admittance of wrong doing, you will be massacred with hateful words, and vile commentary that may upset you, but you will have to understand that these words will come from a place of sadness, and deep hurt. At times after the encounter is over, your loved one will treat you very differently, its best to expect this, accept this, then refer back to number 5 and prove to them that you can change.

Courtesy Anders Engelbol 2007

7.     Be Patient

At times we get ahead of ourselves and we think that since we were courageous enough to ask for forgiveness, we ought to be forgiven at the drop of a hat. It does not work this way, trust is easily broken but takes time to build mend. The worst thing you can do is try to force a person to forgive you when they are not yet emotionally, or mentally ready to do so. This is where waiting comes in. Give your loved one the time they deserve to think about the situation, and how they would like to handle it. In the meantime refer back to number 5.

8.     Take Action

The process of reflection and eventual forgiveness takes time but in the meantime begin your evolution into the type of person you want to be, not only for the other person but for your own well-being.  Your mistake need not define your future. If you persevere you can rise above it, never looking back or returning to it thereby proving to both your loved one and yourself that your words were meaningful after all. This is the most difficult step of all believe it or not, but in the end your actions after the fact will be both your judge and jury.

 Courtesy Ting Ting Koay 2004

9.     Renewing Contact

It is important not to go overboard on this one. Giving the person time is necessary but it also is necessary to ensure that your loved one is still aware that you are committed to a new start in the relationship. This does not by any means involves becoming clingy and overbearing but rather, careful, small steps should be taken to demonstrate your love and faithfulness to the relationship. The keyword here is sensitive baby like steps.

10.  Be Yourself

Lastly, don’t become a person who walks tiptoeing around their whole life because of mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s the way you handle them that proves at the end of the day the type of person you truly are and the person you hope to be someday. Never let your errors define you. Remind your loved one of the good qualities you have, be spontaneous, and natural. Be the best version of yourself, completely and sincerely.

I hope this article has helped someone to take the first steps towards renewing a relationship with someone they hurt. Remember forgiveness takes time, forgiveness for your wrong and your own forgiveness toward yourself.
Take care dears.
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I'd love to hear your thoughts.

© Kehjrah Simone  2015

1 comment:

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