It's not pleasant to admit I've committed my share of mistakes. Unfortunately, many of my mistakes affected not only me, but those close and dear to me. My mistakes came from a selfish place. I wasn't thinking of consequences or of hurting my relationships with family members. As time passed, the mistakes caught up with me. I learned some tough lessons, and if the opportunity had presented itself then, I would have rectified each wrongdoing in an instant — but it was too late.
I decided to turn over a new leaf. I've been more conscientious about my actions. I'm not afraid to say, "I'm sorry."
Relationships are challenging and full of lessons. We all make a mistake or two. Mistakes are part of life. However, once we've made a mistake and apologized for it, some of us struggle not to repeat the same mistake again. Sadly, committing the same mistakes over again hurts close relationships.
When you feel you've made a mistake in a relationship or if someone brings a mistake to your attention, do not fret. You have the potential to make things right. Here are four ways to do so:
It is embarrassing to admit when you are wrong. Perhaps the last thing on your mind was to intentionally hurt someone you care for. But if your mistake harmed someone physically or emotionally, don't shy away from telling the person how deeply sorry you are. Sometimes you make mistakes without realizing you are making them.
Think about others
Oftentimes, you make a mistake that doesn't only affect you but those around you. For example, you storm out of your house due to a heavy disagreement with your spouse, but you later realize what you did was irrational. There's tension upon your arrival home. There's probably anger and distress. If you have children, they see the tension between you and your spouse, and that can cause them uneasiness. Before reacting on an impulse, try thinking about how your mistakes can affect your loved ones.
Don't carry old baggage
If you are embarking on a new relationship with someone, try leaving old baggage from your past relationship behind you. The past can very well cause unnecessary problems. Your present relationship is a new opportunity for love. Embrace it and allow it to flourish.
Communicate you needs and explain your feelings
Communication in relationships is extremely important. Without clear communication, people will not understand your needs or your feelings. Being open and honest is intimidating, especially if you are a private person. Perhaps you expect bad reactions and choose to keep your feelings hidden. But lying about something or omitting information to avoid hurting feelings is a mistake that causes situations to become more complicated than they need to be. It's admirable to always speak from the heart.
Mayra Colón is a freelance writer, former independent author and avid reader. She holds a MBA from the University of Phoenix and completed the Freelance Writing and Selling Online course from Rutgers University of Arts and Sciences.