In this podcast (episode #470) and blog, I talk about how to move on without an apology.
Unfortunately, there will be times in life when someone hurts you and refuses to apologize, regardless of what you say or do. Here are just a few tips to help you when this happens:
-Recognize and honor what happened to you. Remind yourself that it is not just “in your head”. You don't need someone to admit they hurt you to validate what happened to you.
-Allow yourself to feel the pain and emotions. Acknowledge how the person made you feel. Their lack of apology doesn't mean it was okay, and you can be sad or upset about it.
-Put boundaries up, especially if someone keeps hurting you or taking advantage of you. You may even have to pause or end the relationship—don’t feel guilty about this. Part of keeping someone accountable may include taking away their access to you. But make sure these boundaries are healthy and not just a distraction from your pain. For more on healthy versus toxic boundaries, listen to my recent podcast.
-Work on forgiving the person who hurt you even if they don’t apologize to disentangle yourself from the pain. For more on this, listen to my recent podcast on forgiveness.
-Explore the “why” behind your feelings, and a great way to do this is using the using the Neurocycle mind management method, which I discuss in detail in my latest book Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess and my app Neurocycle. The Neurocycle is a way to harness your thinking power that I have developed and researched over the past three decades. It has 5 steps:
- Gather awareness of how you feel mentally and physically when you think about what happened.
- Reflect on how you feel. Why do you think you feel this way?
- Write down your reflections to help organize your thinking.
- Recheck: think about what your thoughts and feelings are trying to tell you. What does it say about how you view the person/situation? What is your antidote—how will you take action to protect your mental health and take control of your story? Look for clues in your writing, then start to reconceptualize the way you are thinking about what happened and the person who hurt you.
- Do your active reach. This is a thought or action you need to practice daily to help you reconceptualize what you worked on in the previous steps. What are you going to do to protect your own wellbeing and boundaries? What action steps are you going to take? Remember that you can’t fix or change the person who is impacting you in a negative way—don’t try to force someone to apologize. Focus on your own response and healing.
Remember that moving forward and healing doesn't depend on someone’s apology. Don't give that person this power over you. Remind yourself that you get to write your own story. You cannot control the circumstances of life, but you can control your reaction to what happens to you. You have power over your own story, and you do not have to stay connected to the person who harmed you.
For more on moving on without an apology, listen to my podcast (episode #470). If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).
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0:50 What happens when someone hurts you & doesn’t apologize
2:08 Tips to manage your mental health when someone doesn’t apologize
5:47, 15:57 How to use mind management to heal when someone hurts you
This podcast and blog are for educational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional.