It goes without saying that the right kind of conflict is a good thing. If someone has something bothering them, not everyone will directly and openly confront a situation for fear of outcomes. Fair enough. I wouldn’t say I’m a confrontational individual but most times I have enough confidence to stand up for what I believe in, BUT I’m able to admit if/when I’m wrong. In the instances that I’m wrong, I have no problem making sure that I admit my faults openly.
There are a few laws of intentionality. Sometimes, you hurt someone without even knowing that you’re the cause, and without intending it at all. However, if you unintentionally hurt someone, the intention or lack thereof means nothing. The outcome is what matters, and if the outcome is that someone is hurt, you have to take responsibility for that, even if you never meant it to happen. Most times I view myself as a forgiving person in a sense of “forgive them, for they know not what they do”. Sometimes people genuinely don’t know the effect they have on others.
Taking responsibility means admitting wrong doing, being accountable for your actions means saying sorry even if you’re unsure of the level of your wrong doing (or even if you should be sorry at all). If you hurt or upset someone; let down your guard, don’t get defensive and try blame their hurt on the fact that they may be sensitive, don’t try pass the buck of where blame lies. Sorry never killed anyone. (By the way, the word ‘sensitive’ almost always implies something negative, which I hate, but try not to throw that word around too loosely!)
Actions and reactions: In any disagreement/conflict we know there are three sides to every story: “Your side, my side and the Truth”. Keep this in mind. I truly believe that in any conflict, everyone is wrong and has something to say sorry for, even if you’re not sorry for thinking what you think, you should be sorry if you’ve made someone feel less worthy of their opinion. If you offend me, and the result is my actions causing you hurt, then I need to apologize for my reaction even if the cause is somewhat justifiable.
There’s nothing worse than telling someone you’re sorry and they don’t return the apology because they believe they were justified in their actions (or reactions), even though it was in reaction to the hurt you caused. However, the trick is not expect anything. Your reason for apology should not be because you’re expecting to receive an apology in return.
Accept responsibility for your own actions. Take accountability for yourself. Saying sorry is never ever a sign of weakness, as with kindness, it shows true strength of character.