Build Strong Relationships: Forgive, Forget, Apologize

I saw a quote on line by Josh Billings, a 19th century humorist the other day. “There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.”

Mr. Billings was on to something here. I realize he was a humorist, that’s why he probably tied his point on forgiveness to revenge. Take revenge out of the equation. I think that forgiveness is the way to build and nurture the relationships that are so important to your life and career success.

It takes a big person to forgive and forget. It takes a bigger person to apologize. Yet, forgiveness and apologies help you build strong relationships and resolve conflict with minimal disruption the relationships you’ve worked so hard to build.

When you forgive, forget and apologize you are saying to the other person, “I value you and our relationship. We may have some differences, but our relationship is more important to me than those differences. Let’s go on in spite of them.”

By doing this, you have invited the other person to continue the relationship. You have given him or her the opportunity to save face. Face is not important to me, relationships are. I suggest that you adopt the same philosophy. An emphasis on saving face can greatly detract from your ability to build solid mutually beneficial relationships and to resolve conflict with minimal disruption to them. As the old saying goes, “An apology is the best way to get the last word.”

The career success point here is simple common sense. Successful people build and maintain a network of relationships. If you want to build solid relationships, forgive, forget and apologize. This advice may sound simple, but it can be difficult to actually do – especially if you have a strong need to save face. My best career advice is don’t worry about face, worry about building and keeping strong relationships with the important people in your life.

That’s my advice on forgiving, forgetting and apologizing. What do you think? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts on these ideas. As always, thanks for reading my musings on life and career success.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.