THE RIGHT WAY TO APOLOGIZE WHEN YOU NEED TO SAY I AM SORRY

The Right Way to Apologize And Say Sorry

The right way to apologize and say sorry. Realizing you did something wrong and tapping into the most humble parts of yourself is hard to do. Learn the right way to apologize and say you are sorry.

SOLUTION ONE

Never say “I am sorry, but…” when you are apologizing

SOLUTION TWO

Know when to say it in person and when to write it

SOLUTION THREE

Figure out the goal of your apology

SOLUTION ONE

Never say “I am sorry, but…” when you are apologizing

Never, ever, never under any circumstances should you say “but” in a sincere apology. Saying “I am sorry, but…” if you are lucky, will be a meaningless apology, but more likely it will make matters worse. A person who uses “but” in an apology is still trying to prove a point and not trying to say they are sorry.

When there is something to apologize for there are two or more sides involved. The only side of the situation you can control is yours. If you have any part in something that needs to be apologized for you need to focus only on you and your part. Maybe the other side did something wrong too. Maybe they do not even see what they did wrong. Regardless, you do what is right and let the person know you feel bad for your part, even if they do not.

 

SOLUTION TWO

Know when to say it in person and when to write it

Know the right context to send your apology. Usually, a face to face apology is best. If you know the person very well and you know (or really hope) they are ready to move on a  grand gesture, like a sign or flowers. There are however circumstances that call for a different approach.

If the person is out of town and you can not meet them in person you can call them. Make sure to keep the conversation brief and have a benign reason to get off the call after you have gone over the apology. You do not want to drag anything out and you can save catching up for the next phone call, now that you’ll be on speaking terms again.

When you really mess up sometimes you need to write it down. In the case of a major screw up, you need to respect the distance the offended party deserves and not try to insert yourself in their personal space. Also in the case of a major screw up the apology can be layered and complicated. Writing it down and sending it will allow you to rewrite and reword until you have it right. If you try to call or meet and you say something wrong unintentionally it can cause you to take ten steps back and make deeper wounds for the inflicted person.

Whenever possible do not text or email an apology. The order of sincerity is as follows:

  1. Grand gesture
  2. Face to face
  3. Phone call
  4. Handwritten letter
  5. Typed letter
  6. Email
  7. Text

Your desire to mend the relationship will be reflected in your choice.

SOLUTION THREE

Figure out the goal of your apology

Most apologies stem from a desire to get a relationship back on track. If this is the goal you might even be willing to take on more than your share of responsibility just to be able to move on.

The goal of the apology is not always to get the relationship back to where it was. In some cases, you mutually agree to part ways but you want to do it in a respectful manner. Think of this as a “wish you well” apology.

Another goal could be closure. You could be in a situation that you know you didn’t handle it perfectly but you definitely were not the worst of what happened. A solid, sincere apology to whoever needs it doesn’t mean you are owning the entire disaster. It is a way for you to do what is right and move on to the part where you reflect on what you do differently the next time.

SHARE | HELP | IMPROVE

Pin It on Pinterest