Forgiveness: The fine art of the apology

JoAnn Ryan
Jul 5, 2019 · 3 min read

Apologizing or asking people for forgiveness is not easy. It’s not easy to admit we’ve made mistakes or failed at something. It can be done though and it doesn’t have to be as painful as you think. Believe it not, apologizing can be quite cathartic and, as long as you didn’t go too far off the deep end, the people you love will probably forgive you.

Take, for instance, me and the pathetic meltdown I had the other day. I was having a bad few days. Everything in my life seemed to be going wrong at the moment and I was at the point where I was feeling stressed out and pretty wretched. I know that’s not an excuse but what happened next happened and once it was done there was no taking it back.

Photo by Ryan Franco on Unsplash

All of a sudden I got the feeling that I was all by myself in the world. It didn’t seem like anyone really cared about me or my problems. So, this is what I did.

I pulled up my Facebook account and posted the following message. These are the words I used verbatim and just let me tell you up front I’m not proud of it one bit:

So tired of all my fake friends and “family” members on here. Who needs you f**kers. Bunch of flakes and losers. Every single one of you b**ches can unfriend me.

Yes, that’s what I really posted. Even though it made me feel a quick rush of self-righteous glory in the few fleeting moments after I posted it, when my fog of anger cleared I was so embarrassed and ashamed of myself. I quickly deleted the post.

There are so many wonderful people that I know through Facebook. People who knew me as a child, people I went to college with and people I worked with at various times in my life. This is what was so embarrassing after the fact. They did not deserve to be lashed out at like that and, to their credit, many reached out to me, not with anger but with compassion and genuine concern for my state of mind. Several family members sent me private messages asking me to call them so we could talk.

So, after all that I decided to post the following:

I’m so sorry all. Was having a bad few days. Thank you to everyone who reached out to me. You are so very awesome.

People sent me likes, nice comments and a bunch of those heart emojis that you can use instead of the like.

Some important things to remember about asking for forgiveness.

  1. Be honest. Lying just makes things worse.
  2. Be accountable and don’t blame others.
  3. Be thankful to those who offer forgiveness.
  4. Accept that we human beings are hopelessly flawed but we are still worthy of love.
  5. Since you’ve made people feel bad, make up for it by making them feel good.
  6. Instead of beating yourself up for the bad things you did, focus on the positive aspects of forgiveness.
  7. Learn from it and vow to do better in the future.
  8. Most important, move on with life!


Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash

JoAnn Ryan

Written by

A complete mess but always striving to do better. My blog is

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