Ponderings of the Thoughtful Sage

The Power of Words [part two]

Three little words that can change the world are ‘I am sorry’. Saying them when it is appropriate, causes healing to occur and diffuses any situation whether it is old hurts that need healing so that people can move on, or an argument right now.

Saying sorry might be one world leader to another or quite ordinary situations between family members, friends, partners, children.  

The effect of saying sorry is immediate because the angry person does not have to continue to argue and shout to explain their grievances -saying sorry shows you have understood. ‘I am sorry’ immediately heals hurts and allows the other person to let go of their anger. As emotions lessen and rational thought returns, so that they will soon be able to listen to reason. Both sides can then move on beyond the angry moment into calmer waters.

Other significantly powerful words which can diffuse confrontational and difficult situations are ‘I understand how you feel’ or ‘I agree with you’. Once spoken these words alter any situation so that the other person has no need to continue to list their grievances to justify how they feel. They calm down and are soon able to listen to reason and only then can you put forward your point of view.

I have observed that really there is little point in trying to have important discussions when emotions are running high because people can become quite irrational if it is an issue or subject that is close to their heart, or if it ‘presses their buttons’. Better to wait till everyone is calm then broach the subject without emotions getting in the way. In that way harsh, harmful, wounding words do not get spoken.

I have met many people who find it hard or even impossible to say sorry which is very sad. They think they will ‘lose face’ or that it is a sign of weakness. Not saying sorry leaves people feeling aggrieved while trying to process hurt which may sour a relationship in the long term.

It is not weak to say sorry, rather it is respectful of the other person and their feelings as well as an acknowledgement of being wrong. It takes strength to admit to being wrong and not everyone has that strength.

‘I am sorry’ three powerful little words that mean so much but so very difficult to say !

The Thoughtful Sage.  Sue Stothard .

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