We often talk about this in reverse.
Some of the most common things I hear from my clients:
“I wish my partner would apologize more.”
“I wish my partner would be more willing to admit when they were wrong.”
“I wish my partner would understand me.”
“I wish my partner cared about my experience.”
“I wish my partner would be more humble and could put their ego aside.”
Does any of this resonate with you?
What if I told you that there may be a part YOU that actually resists being apologized to.
What if I told you that you may be misinterpreting your partner's apologizing.
What if I told you that it may have NOTHING to do with them.
You’re probably thinking NO WAY!
Why the heck would I ever do such a thing!?
“I WANT my partner to apologize.” you say.
Let's take a closer look.
When someone apologizes to you, how do you usually respond?
Do you use that moment of apology to further express your point?
Do you use that moment as another opportunity to be RIGHT?
Do you use that moment as another opportunity to express your PAIN?
Do you embrace their apology with open, loving acceptance?
Do you thank them for being courageous enough to apologize?
Do you take a moment to meet them in taking any responsibly for YOUR part in the breakdown?
(*It doesn’t have to be in that exact moment)
This shit is HARD to think about.
Believe me - I know.
I have unknowingly rejected many apologies in my lifetime.
I remember moments where people tried so hard to apologize.
And…I simply could not receive it.
My deep anger blocked me and I could not for the life of me move past my own resistance.
I would misjudge people’s intentions based on my brain’s past programming.
It took deep cognitive therapy for me to create new thoughts that were more aligned with the present moment.
There are days (and there still are but I am aware of them now) where I have to literally let myself sit and let all the scary thoughts pass and not let myself get hooked on them.
We all have the best of INTENTIONS.
But we have to know our own limits of intimacy for a real apology to have space to unfold.
We have to be aware of our COME FROM.
If we have an avoidant or anxious attachment style, we may unconsciously be afraid of receiving a deep apology.
Because that would mean MORE intimacy.
"BUT THAT'S WHAT I WANT!" you say.
YES - but that would also mean stepping into a new depth of our relationship.
One that that feels foreign.
If we are not used to being apologized to - as much as we may HATE that, it still feels FAMILIAR!
So, we may unconsciously be rejecting apologies.
UNTIL we become aware of this pattern.
UNTIL we become aware of our own unique way of rejecting intimacy.
THEN, we can internally take responsibility for this and become more OPEN in future moments during an apology.
THEN, we can look into our loved one’s eyes and lovingly show deep appreciation for their effort.
THEN, we can acknowledge their willingness to FEEL their own discomfort.
And only THEN, we can slowly move beyond our misinterpretations and see our partner’s kind intentions.