Mending Broken Hearts with an Apology

Jan 19 , 2024
By Eden Sahle

Missteps are inevitable in life. Like a fragile vase precariously perched on a shelf, feelings can be shattered by the most unexpected accidents. The key to getting through the emotional minefields lies in a simple act – an apology. However, its power can be undermined when accompanied by excuses, as I learned in a recent encounter with my house helper.

A pattern of breaking household items had been courtesy of hers these days. But was painfully apparent when it involved my brand new laptop, gifted to me by my husband. The devastation was not just financial, as the cost of repair loomed large, but it also disrupted my work, impacting both my personal and professional spheres.

I tried to swallow my anger, anticipating a genuine apology from my helper. I waited for an acknowledgement of her mistake and an understanding of the consequences. Instead, what unfolded was a smile and a litany of excuses. She failed to grasp the gravity of her actions, opting for justifications rather than a heartfelt apology which left me contemplating the essence of apologies and their transformative power.

Apologising is a vulnerable act that requires admitting fault and taking responsibility. It is not about changing the situation but acknowledging the hurt caused and embracing the consequences. In a world where reducing harm and justifying wrong actions seem easier, the true purpose of an apology often gets lost.

Sincerity plays a pivotal role in interactions, conveying a sense of caring and reconciliation when the past cannot be undone. The desire for forgiveness is universal, and a genuine apology can mend almost anything. It also anchors us to our core values and the well-being of those we cherish.

Refusing to apologise adequately is deemed a form of emotional abuse. It erodes relationships, causing long-lasting damage. It is a subtle yet corrosive force that, when neglected, leads to irreparable fractures in relationships.

Dealing with broken shards of trust in my own house, I am reminded that an apology, untainted by excuses, is the bridge that leads us back to our relationship with my house help. I try to incorporate it in my daily life consciously making an effort. My husband is the same. Our commitment to apologise promptly is a habit we have nurtured, understanding that apologies build security and satisfaction in relationships. Quickly resolving issues has become a cornerstone of our connection, preventing the accumulation of resentment.

The habit traces back to my father, who modelled the humility of apologising when his actions disappointed us. His example taught me early on that an apology is an act of strength that deepens bonds, maintains trust, and exemplifies respect.

On the contrary, I have witnessed the dissolution of a young couple's marriage for failure to apologise. The rift that tore them apart could have been healed with a simple acknowledgement of wrongdoing. But the accumulated hurt over the years eventually shattered what could have been mended.

When wielded sincerely, apologies possess the power to repair mistakes and fortify relationships. Mastering this art not only benefits our connections but also roots us in our core values and a genuine concern for others' feelings.

PUBLISHED ON Jan 19,2024 [ VOL 24 , NO 1238]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at

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