It doesn't matter that I still think I was right. What matters is that I have accepted that it should not matter. Winning out on this issue would not prove me right; my friend would probably still believe the opposite. So I decided, and my friend decided, that we should agree to disagree, and move on. We both feel a lot more light-hearted.
The wording of an apology is everything. If it is not said with a pure heart and good intent, the person who apologizes suffers. Resentment hangs on. Stress lurks and builds. WIth a proper apology, a burden is lifted. Resentment rolls away.
What's good? What's bad? Here are examples.
"Well, I'll apologize, even though I still don't think I did anything wrong, but I'll do it for the sake of friendship."
"I'm sorry I allowed myself to react that way; please accept my apology."
In the bad apology, we are still hinting that we are right and the other person is wrong, in our view.
In the good apology, nothing is said about who was right and who was wrong. In the good apology, I'm not even saying that my reaction was wrong, but that perhaps I could have handled it differently. In the good apology, the issue isn't even discussed; just my reaction.
Father, thank you for these insights, and for your love which helps me to love others while still having different opinions.