Apologies Please ❤️

apologies inner work introspection Sep 20, 2022

True story. Two fourteen year old girls, best friends, had a fight this week and said things to each other that were hurtful.  It was an emotional experience for both, as you can imagine. Especially if you know girls. 


They separated - each with hurt feelings. The mother of one girl called me (which is how I know this story) to ask for advice about the situation. And then that mother, her daughter, and I spoke together on speakerphone. (Is that still a word?) 


The girl was sobbing. I could barely understand her words. But with difficulty I heard her say: “You don’t understand. We’re so close. We’ve been so close for years. Sometimes we say things to each other that aren’t nice. I usually try to apologize and want to talk it through.  She doesn’t apologize. She does something different. Usually, the next day, she will call me – as if nothing happened – and ask to go to pizza or to study.  I can’t deal with that. I imagine that she also feels bad about what she said, but she will never say it. She never takes responsibility and says out loud ‘I am sorry for what I did.’  It hurts our relationship every time this happens.  It pushes me away a little further. I love her and I want to be close to her, but she doesn’t realize that if she would only acknowledge what she did wrong, I would love her even more. Not less. Ignoring it only causes distance.”


Even fourteen year olds get it.  Some of them anyway. Unfortunately, we all even encounter adults who can’t apologize. I even had a client tell me that in 40 years she never once heard her mother say the words “I am sorry” to her or to anyone.  And this client suffers from that.  Don’t be that.


A lot of people think this is obvious in relationships, but in practice I find people can have a very hard time apologizing. Apologizing is a social skill that needs to be taught. Apologies show greatness. Apologies show vulnerability. Apologies show imperfection.  Apologies are therapeutic for the ones who give them and for the ones who receive them. Apologies build relationships. 


We can’t ignore the past. We must recognize and admit the wrongs we’ve done. An apology says: despite what I did, I still want to be close to you. I hope you can forgive me for what I said/did. 


And that is what I suggested to this fourteen year old girl.  I told her to apologize.  She understands what it takes to apologize and how meaningful an apology is. She is the lucky one. Don’t wait for someone who won’t apologize.  Go first. Hopefully their apology will follow. Maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. It’s very sad when it doesn’t. For both people. 


Apologizing to ourselves, is a whole newsletter in itself. Remind me to circle back around to this very powerful therapeutic tool. Apologizing to ourselves, for letting ourselves down, or for not being the best we could be, with the hope to be better in the future is so powerful. And so newsletter-worthy. 


This made me think about the theme of Elul. A time for introspection. New beginnings. Inner work. A time to put our best foot forward. A time to be the best version of ourselves. A time to stop and think about our interactions. 


And a time to say the words: “I am sorry for what I did.”  


💕, Shifi 



Share the Socially Appropriate-ISH newsletter with a friend or family member!



Comments? Questions? We would love to hear from you! Send us a message!

Contact Us

Do you want to get Shifi’s latest newsletter?

Simply sign up here to join our new and exciting newsletter called 


We won't send spam. Unsubscribe at any time.