The power of ‘sorry’

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to facilitate a conversation between two families. The families each have a teenage girl and a dispute had formed between the girls that was affecting both the families. I have never facilitated families or adolescents before, and I admit I was concerned about how they would engage. But I care for the families and wanted to help.

I went back to basics and established a compelling purpose and some ground rules. The girls did engage, fully, and some difficult things were said. What became evident, though the conversation was that the mothers were entangled in the conflict too and when they became involved we reached a point that I thought would be gridlock.

Then one of the mothers said ‘sorry’ and the entanglement started to unravel. Such a simple word, but when sincerely meant, so powerful. The combination of acknowledging the truth of how things were at the time, combined with saying sorry, led to a reconciliation.

Is there anyone you need to say sorry to right now?