I just finished reading a great piece on apologies in the New York Times.  The writer truly made me stop and think.

I need to apologize to a friend.  I know I do but am not sure if the friend is willing to listen or not.  I did something that caused a huge rift between the two of us and I do not like the space that I have received from this rift.  I am not sure if the friend does or not but I need to find out as I don’t like myself because of the problem.

I will say that the author talks about the good essentials of an apology:

an acknowledgment of the fault or offense, regret for it and responsibility for it — and, if possible, a way to fix the problem, said Holly Weeks, a communications consultant and author of “Failure to Communicate: How Conversations Go Wrong and What You Can Do to Right Them” (Harvard Business Press, 2008).

While I have acknowledge the offense, I am not sure if the person who was offended thinks I take responsibility for it or if that person thinks I have regret for it.  I have deep regrets for the entire offense – both the part that I did and the results of that action.  I own my actions so am totally responsible for this and the pain I feel.

I want to ask this friend for forgiveness.  I don’t want the friend to totally forget but to know that I am working on being a better person.  I am working on fixing what caused me to commit the offense to start with.

I am not perfect nor strong.  I need to be reminded occasionally of my imperfections.

Have you ever had to apologize when you didn’t think the other party wanted to hear it?  Have you ever had to apologize and not known if it would be accepted?  Do you think apologizing is the same as asking for forgiveness?