It happens to everyone from time to time: you forget to bite your tongue, say the wrong thing, or simply offend someone with an opposing view. But saying “I’m sorry” for some, is often the hardest thing. There’s a reason why so many songs are about regret – you’re not alone. To help you out the next time your vocal filter fails, we’ve listed five ways to sincerely utter those two magic words: “I’m sorry.”
Apologize In Person
Respectfully show the person how much you care by making a little effort and showing up, in person, when you apologize for what you’ve said or done to hurt them. Often the best efforts at trying to make things right are undermined by the delivery. So, make sure you practice what you’re going to say beforehand. If the other person still needs a little more time, give it to them. But don’t try to have a serious make-up session via text, mobile, email, tweet, IM, etc.
Don’t Repeat Bad Behavior
Sometimes it takes time to heal and forgive, and that’s when an in-person apology can only go so far. If you’ve done something that you really regret and wished you hadn’t done, chances are it’s going to take time for the other person to regain faith in your relationship. You can rebuild trust over time by not repeating the offensive gesture that caused you to apologize in the first place.
Communicate What’s Going On
Sometimes it’s not your fault when things go bad. For instance, if you have a last-minute work emergency and can’t make dinner plans. Obviously, you’re going to be apologetic, but make sure you explain to the other person what’s going on as soon as you can. This goes for things as trivial as dinner to why you crashed your friend’s car. Put into words what happened, and if it is your fault, take accountability for it. Isolating or avoiding conflict is just going to further upset the other person involved.
Write A Letter
If you’re struggling with what to say to the person you wronged, sometimes a hand-written letter or card can help. Make sure to include an explanation of what happened, a sincere apology, and steps you’re willing to take to mend things. This can be a nice ice-breaker before you talk. You can select a less personalized but meaningful song or poem to apologize but only if your infraction is minor.
Don’t Say It Unless You Mean It
Whether you’re right or wrong, don’t say “I’m sorry” if it’s not genuine. If you owe someone an apology, it should come from the heart. You shouldn’t sabotage your own integrity by placating someone if what they are complaining about isn’t something you see as a problem.
There will always be certain moments in life when it will be helpful to apologize. And the way you show your remorse is important. Being able to sincerely apologize shows your friends, family and significant others that you know you’re not always right, expresses compassion, and helps prevent future conflict. Hope these 5 ways help.