I am so very embarrassed to say this took me 28 years of life to learn.
Up until this point, whenever someone came to me offended by something I did, I would apologize but one of two ways.
1) Thats not what I meant, I am sorry you took it that way.
2) I am sorry that hurt you, lets pray for your freedom.
I actually thought those were legitimate apologies! Its basically explaining to them that they are my friend, I did not mean to hurt them, and I am here to help them work through any false pain. Sounds great right? Bla!
I recently tried apologizing this way to someone this way, and she just stopped and said, “I don’t care you didn’t mean to do it, you did it!”
Then it hit me, of course my good friends know I don’t MEAN to hurt them, if I did that would be sadistic, but I still need to apologize for the misunderstanding!
If a child drops a plate, the plate is still broken even if the intent was to not break it. There is still damage done, even if its unintentional.
There should be a book written about this!
And it makes so much sense, If someone was in a relationship with people who sometimes mean to hurt them, they need to get out! But for the rest of us in mostly healthy relationships with people who don’t mean to do us harm, lets just swallow our pride and apologize for the unintended hurt.