You are waiting for an apology. At some point you were wronged by someone. You were spoken to harshly. You were treated poorly. You were stood up, yelled at, knocked down, ignored, forgotten or otherwise mistreated. It could be any number of reasons. The fact is that you are certain that you deserve an apology, and chances are you have been waiting on it for a while now. The reality is that it is not coming.
Not what you wanted to hear, right? I did not want to hear it either, but it is what I finally had to admit to myself. I was forced to accept it in order to move on, to forgive, and to heal.
In my case it was a close friend, or at least I had believed her to be a close friend. She stopped speaking to me due to an edict issued by someone at my former place of employment which was where we met. I was not to be made aware of the pending sale of the business (a sale that had no impact on me or the company as I had resigned and was already employed elsewhere), and no employees were to tell me anything concerning said sale. And so she simply stopped speaking to me. After I learned about the reason why I understood. It became clear why for a time several former co-workers cut off communication with me, although a brave few had the decency to tell me the backstory. What I could not understand was why I never heard anything from her. After years of friendship, dinners out, listening to guy drama, and being there when she needed me this was how I was repaid. I would have accepted an email or a text saying something along the lines of, “can’t talk for a while, will explain later”. It was the nothingness that was a hard blow to take. I tried to reach out to her numerous times to no avail. My husband and other friends helped to absorb the hurt that I felt, but the lack of closure was an open wound. It wasn’t until nearly two years later that she extended a dinner invitation. While she seemed genuinely glad to see me the apology never came. When I addressed my feelings her response was that she “hadn’t hurt me intentionally.” Bam. That was it, that was all I was going to get. While we remain civil the friendship was never truly repaired. For a long time after that dinner I continued to feel like I deserved an apology, and a sincere one at that. I eventually had to make peace with the fact that it wasn’t coming. I have to let go of the need for the “I’m sorry” in order to let go of her and the friendship that never really was.
The reasons you may not receive the apology you are seeking may vary. The person might not even be aware that you are think you are owed one. He may not believe that he has anything to apologize for. And in the worst case scenario trifecta, he may not care. You can only control one of these things. You need to consider just how important it is to you to hear those little words of repentance. If you believe that it is possible the offender does not know how you feel then tell him, but only if you are prepared for the possibility that he may neither feel the need to apologize nor care that you think he should.
I gave myself a great gift the day I accepted the nonexistent apology. I acknowledged that I was doing damage only to myself by holding on to the anger and the hurt. I made peace with my friend without her ever knowing it, but more importantly I made peace with me. Subsequently I have been able to accept a few more of the “sorries” that I never received, and I cannot stress to you enough how liberating it is. If you are waiting on an apology I urge you to get one, not from the person you think owes it to you, but rather from you. Give yourself the apology you imagine you would someday get from the one you are seeking it from. Accept it as you would if it came from the source and allow yourself the freedom to forgive and move on.