Step One: Step Back
Step back a bit and look at the situation from a proper distance. And when you do you’ll realize you did the BEST you could with what you knew at the time.
The truth is, if you would of known better, you would have done better. But you didn’t, you couldn’t. Forgive yourself for what you didn’t know.
Step Two: Take Responsibility
Whether you intended to hurt them or not, the fact is YOU DID. So, don’t blame them for being oversensitive. Don’t make them bad and wrong for misunderstanding you.
Stop defending your actions – and take responsibility. Man up – and say: “I’m so sorry you got hurt. That was not my intention.”And then say the 4 words that are least used in the entire English language. “Can you forgive me?”
Now, let me be clear. You are not responsible for their feelings. You are responsible for your actions, which may have caused their feelings. We have a word for taking responsibility for someone else’s emotional state. It’s called co-dependent. So don’t confuse them. You’re responsible for your actions and choices and if they hurt others own them, apologize and ask for forgiveness. They may or may not be able to forgive you, but that’s their issue, not yours.
And don’t wait for their enlightenment because it may never come. Take responsibility for the role you played and forgive yourself.
Step Three: Give What You Want to Receive
If you want others to respect you, respect yourself. If you want others to forgive you, start by forgiving yourself. Show yourself the kindness you want others to give. Be patient with yourself and learn to accept yourself, warts and all.
You’re going to get hurt. That’s unavoidable. There will be injustice. It is just part of human life. The only way to end the pain and stop the anger is to practice forgiveness. The practice of forgiveness is not easy and it is unending. But is essential in this life.