Grown-ups don't apologize and it's a real missed opportunity.
Every relationship experiences bumps and bruises. It's natural and a healthy sign of real, meaningful relationships. So much so that we typically hurt our closest loved ones more than coworkers or strangers.
But that's OK! There's this thing called Apologizing.
Apologies are like when muscles rebuild after a hardcore workout. The muscle doesn't get stronger from weight lifting - that only rips the muscle apart. It gets bigger and stronger after the fact, when the muscle is healing and fusing muscle fibers together.
People seem to think that hurts and bruises heal themselves and go away over time. But they really don't - that's only half of the work-out. Unaddressed hurts just stick around like gum that doesn't digest. The regenerative muscle-building power comes in addressing those hurts and integrating them into the relationship. This creates stronger, more meaningful bridges between individuals.
We hate apologizing. We hate it! It's a hit to the ego. In a genuine apology, there's no excuses that let you off the hook. Nowhere to hide and protect yourself. All you can do is ask your apology partner to give you the gift of forgiving you and letting it go. Receiving gifts is humbling.
But it's not an uneven exchange. You are giving them a gift by offering your apology. You are saying "I am sorry and as an investment in our relationship, I'd like to offer my apology."
Combining the gift of the apology with the gift of the forgiveness is something like 1 + 1 = 3. Something new has shown up. Something else has emerged. Where did it come from?
Once you see this, you actually begin to enjoy apologizing. It's easier to dive into the act of apologizing because you anticipate the reward that's about to come in the form of a renewed, stronger relationship. And it doesn't get any better than that.
Last thing: try this at your workplace with colleagues, where it's really abnormal to apologize (unless there's been a huge terrible thing).