They Apologised, Do I Have To Accept It?

Do We Have To Accept An Apology?

Sometimes in life after a conflict we ache for an apology just so that we can feel 'right' and make the other person 'wrong'. Other times we just want to know that they realise the pain they caused.

Think about break ups, when you are searching for an apology for closure but then when you get it, it's too little too late.

As children alot of us were taught to say sorry, even when we didn't mean it. And worse, the person who got told sorry was forced to accept that apology!

So what happens when you get the apology?

Lets explore whether you would want to accept an apology, what that may mean and how to decide.

Apologies, Meaning & Acceptance

Everyone makes things mean something different. Take love for example, what that means to me will look differently for my neighbor.

That being said, what do we make apologies mean?

Here is my perspective. An apology is expressing a regret of action. Wishing you had not done whatever it is you did.

Some apologies are completely out of selfishness, and some are due to empathy and growth.

Your job is to determine the difference and then decide if you will accept the apology or not. And if you do, what does that now mean?

Accepting an apology does not mean you will then accept the past or future behavior. It simply means you accept that they have regret and ideally that they would then work to prevent doing it again.

How To Decide

Truth be told, you will know instantly if you are connected with your intuition. This is something I teach so if you need support with that, book an appointment with me HERE.

The energy never lies. Notice your physical reaction. Replay the scene of you receiving the apology in your mind an pause it like a movie. Did you react physically? What were you thinking? What visions popped up?

Ask yourself these questions:

1) What is my payoff for accepting this apology? Would it make my life easier to accept? Is this about me being right? Does this give me power?

2) What is my payoff for not accepting this apology? Is this a power play? Am I purposefully refusing them? Am I trying to hurt them? Go deeper with this one.

3) Do they want something from me? Does this make it a convenience apology?

4) Have they shown empathy? Or is it about them?

5) Do they take responsibility or are they making excuses? Have they placed any of the blame on you?

6) Do you want a relationship with this person? Can you trust them? Has this happened before?

7) What are you core values? What guides you? What would you future self say? Your mentor?

Once you answer these questions you will have a much clearer idea around what to do with this apology. If it is not sincere you would basically not accept the apology. If it was sincere and you were to accept it, you would then need to consider if you too owed an equal apology to that person and how you can take responsibility for your actions.


Make no mistake, sometimes we are simply not sorry. We accept our behaviors and we either heal or we don't. Either way, sometimes people don't have regrets. This doesn't make them good or bad, right or wrong.

Personally, there is alot that I am not sorry for. I understand myself and I certainly would not repeat behaviors yet I justify myself and excuse myself. I forgive myself. In every sense of the word. I do forgiveness therapy, I use the full moon to forgive, I journal and I show myself kindness and compassion. I take action to grow and heal so that I can step up in integrity and not repeat reactive behaviors that may in the past hurt someone.

Sometimes I am sorry. Very sorry. And again, I have to do forgiveness work, inner work and action to put measures in place to not repeat the behaviors. For example, yelling on a school morning which used to lead me into massive mum guilt. Spending frivolously and then hating on myself for being irresponsible. I can be sorry about these things and apologise to the people affected and take my own growth into my own hands and yet still not be sorry for other behaviors.

For example, a hook up where I then ghost the guy. Maybe I could be sorry to that person, but I am not. I instead focus my attention on not treating any further guys that way and learn to communicate better.

You do not have to be sorry to change and you do not have to accept apologies to forgive and heal. It ALL starts and ends with YOU and your willingness to do the inner work.

Key Take Aways

My main points to summarise.

1 - Your intuition already knows.

2 - Apologies must be sincere and empathetic.

3 - Accepting an apology doesn't mean you excuse the behavior.

4 - Forgiveness work and self growth is the catalyst for peace.

No matter what conflict or unresolved relations you have in your life forgiveness work and emotional intelligence will get you there.

Boundaries, Values and Vision.

Oh, and your number secret weapon? Your INTUTION!

Book an appointment if you need support through challenging relationships.

- April B

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