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Sincere Apology: What That Looks Like

Sincere Apology Forgiveness How To Apologize

In this article, I outlined the definition of healing. When we seek to heal with another it is accompanied by a sincere apology. However, I find that most people don’t apologize correctly.

More importantly, aren’t even aware how to.

Today I want to share with you the 7 signs of what a sincere apology looks like. So you don’t get confused…or possibly dishonor yourself by being fooled by insincerity:

1. A Sincere Apology First Starts With Ownership

Accountability is the core foundation of a sincere apology. It’s about understanding ourselves and how our actions affect others.

Sometimes we are oblivious to how our actions affect others because of ignorance. That’s okay, it allows us to grow—if we are willing to learn.

But being willfully ignorant or lacking the insight that our actions don’t change the world—and people around us—is selfish. Selfish behaviors are from a place of insecurity and rooted in a personal deep void.

Sincere apologies always begin with showing up, owning up to, and affirming your role in a circumstance that has a direct or indirect effect on the person afflicted.

2. A Sincere Apology Expresses “I’m Sorry”

The keywords being “I Am”. Language creates reality and influences the experience of it. When you shorten things to “sorry”; “oops my bad”; etc.—you are creating distance between owning a sincere apology.

Stating “I’m sorry” clearly exhibits courage. Because you’re owning your role in the dynamic events which transpired. However big or small.

Furthermore, it’s giving the other party involved the affirmation that during the good times AND the challenging times—you’re here. You are present. And not looking for an easy opportunity or scapegoat event to escape.

A sincere apology uses the power of language; including openly expressing “I’m Sorry” to properly convey what needs to be heard.

3. Because A Sincere Apology Is An Attempt To Heal

Healing is only invited into our lives when we remove the blockages impeding that process. Leaving things unfinished, unsaid, bottled, and festered creates blockage—and the root cause of disease [“dis ease”] is stagnation.

Movement is the key to life. Healing is a movement that you journey upon within…and even with another.

However, it takes both and/or all parties involved to venture on that pathway together; as a cohesive unit. Exploring all of the intricacies of the growing and healing process.

Because it’s in that process—the shared experience—that we begin to find a deeper appreciation for each other. The value of healing has overcome the weight of the past issue.

A sincere apology is an attempt to heal because it invites forgiveness in our lives.

4. A Sincere Apology Includes Changed Behavior

Out all the info I want you to take away from this article, remember this formula: 

An Apology = “I’m Sorry” + Changed behavior

Changed behavior is an integral part of a sincere apology. Not only does it show you were listening, but it’s the most effective way to prevent arguing about the same thing in the future. People usually dislike repeating themselves—especially because it’s time and energy-consuming.

People value being heard and listened to. Changed behavior approaches this head-on.

Furthermore, as George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

5. Let’s Go Deep

When we can go deep, to “that place” of vulnerability, we disarm ourselves and allow healing to take place. While love, peace, and happiness are found WITHIN—going to “that place” of vulnerability is about using those primary gifts within, to create a space externally that invites another to join you in healing.

This deep place is where the gift of sincere apologies creates effective and long-term beneficial change.

Because remember, defensiveness is a form of blockage. And when you are blocking, you aren’t allowing…including the process of healing to take place—let alone start. We go to deep and uncomfortable spaces together, sharing parts of who we are with another, to show through action & example:

“You are not alone. We’re in this—together.”

6. A Sincere Apology Is All About Action

Healing doesn’t occur once “I’m sorry” is expressed, the real journey is how things unfold afterward. Does one retreat to the same behaviors which led to the initial discord? Often, apologies are expressed because there was a breach of loyalty and/or trust.

Including trust that parameters of respect wouldn’t be crossed, but were. 

Rebuilding requires time, energy, and effort. Every day a person can either commit or not to the journey, and what that might look like. 

The journey will look unique to every individual. But the critical factor is that they are fully committed with no hesitation. Hesitation becomes the breeding ground of procrastination and of inaction.

7. Sincere Apologies Requires Sacrifice

When we apologize sincerely, we are sacrificing our previous selves for a new & higher version. Some are able to invite and welcome the experience of evolution in their lives. While for others it’s tremendously frightening.

Because we addict to identifying ourselves with our habits. And if we aren’t confident enough to embrace change, to question the self-identifying to unprocessed pains and traumas, we become productive of “dis ease”.

“How we treat others, is how we treat ourselves”. For example, compassion can come from a confident place, when we give ourselves compassion. Often I’ve met the most compassionate people who have overcome a tremendous hardship, and have used the journey of processing their pains and traumas to fuel their choice to be compassionate.

Sincere apologies require sacrifice because we are able to create much-needed room for healing to begin.


Where forgiveness is found, a sincere apology is found with it. We apologize sincerely to invite healing; forgiveness; growth; accountability, and most of all, to exhibit compassion—towards another and ourselves.

If a person can’t apologize, it’s because they fear taking responsibility. For some, accountability is terrifying because they are fully committed to creating as much distance between themselves and their choices.

Lying to themselves only shows their addiction to denial. Not reality. And it’s never your responsibility to do the work to convince, teach, or do all the work in any situation. When a person forfeits apologizing, that’s a clear signal of where they are in their growth…including your priority in their life.

Ultimately, you decide if this person and your relationship with them is an asset or dead weight. You have a life to live. It doesn’t have to be difficult, to enjoy it.

Be Strong & Vibe Well,

– Liana

One-on-One Coaching!
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Liana Estillore Thorn Relationship Coach Wellness Coach Spiritual Coach

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