Are you waiting for an apology that just hasn’t come? If so, you are not alone. It’s a state that many of my clients find themselves in and it keeps them stuck. Waiting for someone else (or an organisation) to own and apologise what we perceive as a major transgression, and their continued unwillingness to do so, ties us to the past hurt and stops us moving forwards.

There is also “contrition for show” where there is an apology of sorts, but it’s more for public perception. We can feel the difference between being publicly sorry about being caught, rather than privately remorseful for what actually happened.

When an apology is disingenuous it doesn’t give the relief or peace we seek and so it doesn’t count. Contrition for show feels very different to genuine apology and can actually add insult to injury.

Why don’t you get your apology?

Well, genuine contrition means the risk of genuine shame. Shame is one of the most uncomfortable emotions there is. Not everyone has the emotional chops to let themselves feel it. It’s far less about avoiding contrition to you and far more about avoiding the self-knowledge and it’s implications to them. They don’t want to live with the shame; so you live with the lack of contrition. And so holding out for genuine contrition – does it actually help?

It might feel right and fair and just and what “should” happen: but the fact is – you are not getting it and your need for it actually only damages you further and keeps you bound to the original injury.

Know that if someone has done the dirty on you, even if they don’t own their behaviour you can still own your future.

The fastest way to move past the hurt is to assert that not one element of your life depends on them apologising to you. That you want your future more than you want their contrition. Someone else’s contrition can be of far less value than you think.

Take back your power by dropping your need for it.

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