Be sincere and simple

Whether it?s a serious offense or an easily reparable, saying sorry is key to maintaining good relationships with a loved ones, friends and co-workers.

Take responsibility

One of the simple requirements of an apology is complete acceptance of responsibility. Otherwise it?s not an apology at al.  avoid minimizing your offense and also avoid a passive voice. To effectively take responsibility ?Name the conduct that was offensive, apologize and promise not to do it again.?


When offering an apology, don?t look at the ground, at your watch or out the window. ?Instead, look the other person in the eye and take a deep breath before you start. Try not to slouch or fidget. The goal is to be relaxed and attentive, clearly focusing on the other person as you talk together.?

Write it out

Sometimes a face-to-face apology isn?t feasible, or you can?t bring yourself to do it ? especially if it may lead to awkward confrontation. Is it ok to write one instead?. A written note gives the victim time to consider the apology, whereas with e-mail, they get it and respond immediately. You want them to sit on it for a bit. E-mail and text can get you into an immediate debate on the issue, which is not what you want.?

Get creative

If ?I?m sorry? doesn?t seem like enough, find a creative way to express remorse. ?The trick is to do something that takes real time and effort rather than shoving a gift at someone instead of apologizing, which can seem more like a bribe than serious effort.? A playlist of apologetic or meaningful songs, a hand-painted card or a giant cake with a frosting apology are all sweet gestures, but for maximum effectiveness deliver a verbal apology before giving the creative gift.

Follow up with action

Show your sincerity by changing your behavior. ?The most powerful part of the apology, apart from signaling your desire to repair the relationship, is to show your commitment to be on good behavior. If I apologize for being late, it shows that I value your time and that I intend to improve so that we don?t have this issue again. If I?m late again, you have every right to conclude that my apology is insincere. As hard as it is to say I?m sorry, it?s hard to commit to the change in behavior.?

Don?t ask for forgiveness

It seems like an automatic part of an apology: ?Can you forgive me??  Making an apology after you?ve messed up is like paying a debt, which is why we say, ?I owe you an apology. Forgiveness, however, is a gift that needs to be freely given, not demanded. If you ask for it before the other person is ready to give it, you?re applying unfair pressure.?If you want to include something about forgiveness, wait until your apology is delivered and you?ve listened to the victim. Then you can say something like ?I hope I can earn your forgiveness? or ?I hope you can forgive me.?

Accept the reaction

Once you?ve apologized, it?s up to the victim to respond to what you?ve said. Now is the time to listen and not argue with him or her. You may or may not like how someone reacts to an apology, but listening to the other person is an essential part of an effective apology. It demonstrates that you respect her and are truly interested in understanding how she felt about what you did, adding that it?s hard for many people to hear criticism about their actions. Take it as constructive even if it doesn?t sound that way and recognize that you can only do better next time if you listen in the first

Source : Akosua’s Corner


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