The dynamics around seeking forgiveness and granting it, is fascinating.
An apology is as it is rare to come by. And we don’t seem to be quite prepared to handle it, when it happens.
Quite often, we are seeking an apology but as soon as we hear “I am sorry”, our likely response is
“Oh it’s ok. Don’t worry about it. Not a big deal”
That confuses them.
“Am I stupid to have apologized?”
“Was I over thinking?”
“Did I just make a fool out of myself?”
A better response will be to tell them how much it means to them that they thought about this.
Same for gifting.
We receive a gift and go “oh you didn’t have to”
Instead “how thoughtful is that of you”
Someone pays on our behalf
“Oh no no no. I don’t take money from anyone.”
Instead, “that’s really kind of you. I will pay you back by tomorrow.”
Nothing beats an action that generates confidence in a person that their effort was worth it.