Saying you’re sorry is hard to do . . . but it is necessary if you plan on a happy life with healthy relationships.
Every one screws up, and when we do, an apology is in order, but how do we say we’re sorry in the most meaningful way?
I have found that if I approach the person in an honest and humble way, with a strong desire to right a situation gone wrong, it all works itself out. I get my mind-set straight first, though, and drop any attitude and anger I may be harboring, or it will show up in my “apology” as contempt and my apology will fall on deaf ears, or may even worsen the situation.
Remaining calm is paramount in a genuine apology. I must leave my disappointments behind for the moment, and concentrate on my apology.
I also want to take responsibility for my “wrong”, and not make excuses. If I need to explain something, then I can do that after my apology. Or perhaps I did nothing wrong, but am apologizing for hurting someone’s feelings unintentionally. That info still needs to come after my genuine, calm, thoughtful apology.
First and foremost, I must begin with them in mind, and not myself. If I am peeved or thinking of myself, I will fail. For one moment I must think of only the person to whom I’m giving the apology.
I begin with a gentle and humble approach, and move into the meat of the problem only after I have told them how much I care for them, and have shown my honest concern for them. I try to leave my ego at the door, knowing that little bugger has a sick need to be right all the time.
“Stella, you know I love you, and only want great things for you, and I am very sorry if what I said did not sound that way. I did not mean it that way, and would never hurt you. I hope we can repair our relationship!”
Or, “John, I screwed up, and left the “thing” behind which ruined your party. I am so sorry about that! What can I do to make up for it?”
Or perhaps, “Dennis, I need to tell you something . . . I lied, and purposely deceived you in our business deal. I was wrong, and I am sorry. Can you forgive me? I want to correct what I did, so what can I do to make it better? The reason I did it is because my mom needed the money and was being evicted, and I know that is no excuse, but that is why I did it.”
Saying “I’m sorry” is not easy, but when you develop the skill set required for a successful – and genuine – apology, your relationships will deepen and trust will return. Since trust is the foundation for every single relationship, your life will be filled with love, joy, and a ton of good peeps. And that’s what life’s all about, no apology about it!