We’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all done things we regret. Or we haven’t done things–and we regret not acting. We’ve all failed to step up, or step in, or show support, or lend an ear or shoulder…
Maybe you feel you’ve moved past it. Maybe you feel the other person has moved past it, too. Maybe you’re dreaming.
An apology not made is the elephant in a room. No matter how much time has passed, it still colors every subsequent interaction. Kill the elephant. Say you’re sorry.
Just don’t follow your apology with a disclaimer. Don’t say, “I’m sorry, but I was really mad because you…” or “I’m sorry I blew up at you, but I do think you were out of line, too.”
Don’t say anything that in any way places even the smallest amount of blame on the other person. Say you’re sorry, say why you’re sorry, and take all the blame. No less. No more. The elephant may never totally disappear, but once you apologize, sincerely and genuinely, the elephant will no longer matter–to either of you.