I am sorry. One of the hardest phrases in the English language to say, but most importantly one of the hardest to actually mean. So many times we spout out meaningless “I’m sorry’s” in an attempt to either shut our significant others up or to jump start the “making up” process, but how many of them do we actually mean? Better yet, how many times have you apologized the “right way?” Below you will find tips on how to apologize effectively.
1. Don’t shift the blame.
Sometimes instead of taking full responsibility for our part we shift the blame to the other person.. For example, “I am sorry I lied to you, but you left me no choice. I feel like you get so angry when I try to tell the truth.” This is NOT an appropriate way to apologize. Not only are you justifying your negative action, but you are also opening a whole new can of worms without concealing the first.You will know when you have learned the art of apologizing because the other person’s faults will not matter because you are only focused on what you did wrong and how it made the other person feel. I live by the notion that everyone is entitled to their feelings and if someone was sincerely hurt by your actions then you need to sincerely apologize and mean it.
2. Do not apologize until you sincerely mean it.
You cannot effectively apologize until you are truly sorry AND are ready to admit it out loud. Many times we feel rushed into apologizing to someone when truthfully we are not really ready. Take the time to evaluate your part in the situation, gather your thoughts, and then when you feel comfortable proceed with the apology. There is nothing worse than hearing, “You don’t even mean it,” after an apology.
3. Time out!
I know I am not the only one who needs some time and space after receiving an apology. Give the person a couple of minutes to digest what happened, what you said, and to gather their thoughts on how to fix it. Do not look at this time out as negative or the person not accepting your apology. Look at it as the person really trying to move forward and ridding themselves of the negativity.
4. Look ahead!
After you have done the first three steps, plan ahead. Come up with a plan on how to fix the problem. If you are truly sorry that you have been insensitive to your friend’s needs then discuss a plan on how to prevent this same behavior in the future. Ask him/her what you can do to make them feel better or clarify what not to do to prevent future hurt.
In summary, always remember, “Apologizing does not always mean that you’re right and the other person is wrong. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.”
-Queen Mes ❤