Apologizing is rarely comfortable or easy. Even if you understand intellectually that this is the right thing to do at a given moment, emotionally you just can’t bring yourself to say those difficult words “I’m sorry”. And sometimes, even saying that you are sorry is also not enough, especially when you have hurt the other person really badly. The inability to apologize in an argument can cause the conflict to go for an unnecessary long time and can jeopardize the relationship. Learning how to convey your apology effectively to your loved one is one of the most important things to get right. Here I have listed 10 ways by which you can communicate your apology in a more effective way.
10. Determine What Went wrong And Take The Responsibility
You can’t apologize effectively if you are too proud to admit that you have done anything wrong. Let go of your pride, humble yourself and consider for the time being that you might just be at fault. Before you go and apologize to the person you have hurt, take some time to figure out what exactly you might have done to upset them. Once you are able to clearly see your fault and have prepared yourself to admit it truthfully in front of the other person, only then proceed to apologize. While apologizing, take the responsibility of your actions and describe exactly what you did wrong. Don’t downplay it to avoid the embarrassing truths. Your being honest and truthful would make the other person have more confidence in your apology.
9. Say Sorry In Person (if possible)
It is always good to apologize in person, if the person doesn’t live far away from you. I know exactly how difficult it might get for you to face the person whom you have recently hurt so badly. And it is true that even if you muster all the courage you have and manage to stand in front of that person, it might take you eternity to mutter those three words out of your mouth. But trust me on this, just gather yourself and blurt your thoughts out because ultimately, that is the right thing to do. After you have hurt someone, this is the least you can do to show that you are truly sorry. Apologizing in person also allows you to see how the other person is feeling/reacting at the moment you’re apologizing. You can then persuade them accordingly if you feel that they are not yet fully convinced.
8. Choose The Right Words
While asking for an apology, you should always choose your words carefully. Understand that the person you have hurt is upset at the moment. Even if you feel that it is as much their fault as much it is yours, restraint yourself from blurting that out while you are apologizing. For example, saying something like “Well i wouldn’t have cheated if you would have spent some more time with me” is clearly not the right thing to say at such a critical time. Not even unintentionally should you ever try to justify your actions and blame it all on them. Also keep in mind that the worst thing you can do while apologizing is to bring up something that the other person did wrong in the past. Always avoid doing this, whatever be the case.
7. Choose The Right Time And Place
To get your apology accepted, you should choose a perfect time and place. Sometimes, it is best to apologize immediately after you have done wrong, sometimes it is better to wait and let the other person calm down first. However, don’t wait for too long. Sooner you apologize, more are the chances that you will be forgiven. Also, try to avoid apologizing in public. You don’t want to make it uncomfortable for both of you and for those around you. Try to apologize at a time when the other person is not in a hurry and is not doing something very important.
6. Do Something Nice and Thoughtful
If you think that just the words won’t be enough after what you have done, try to add value to your apology by doing something nice for the other person. You can buy something that the other person has always wanted to have and present it as a gift. Or you can also put in some extra effort and thought and create something on your own. It could be a handmade card or a collage of your photos together. You don’t need to be very good at it, just do it with nice and honest feelings. You could also write a poem/sing a song. Worse it sounds, the better. Or you could just take the other person out for a dinner or lunch. Through such gestures you can touch the heart of the person you have hurt and show to them that you truly are trying hard to make things better again.
5. Leave A Handwritten Letter/Note
I know that the idea of writing a letter sounds very old fashioned, but believe me it is a very effective way to apologize to someone who is not ready to listen to you. Important condition is that you should do it right. Don’t make the letter too dramatic and artificial. Save your classic poetry and a few simple lines in plain sober English (or whatever language you’re comfortable with) would do for now. Just be really honest and truthful in writing your feelings. Keep your words to the minimum and slid the letter where the person would be least expecting it.
4. Listen To The Other Person
It is important that you express yourself clearly and honestly to the person to whom you are apologizing. Equally important is to show your willingness to listen to what the other person has to say. If the other person is not speaking anything at the moment, you can start by asking “What can I do to make you feel better?”. There are high chances that you would hear something like “Just go away and leave me alone”. But don’t lose your heart. Tell the other person that you are willing to do whatever it takes to amend the wrong that you have done. When the other person is telling you something, listen sincerely and tell them that you intend to do whatever they have mentioned and that you’re never going to hurt them again.
3. Show Gratitude , Hug Them
While apologizing, you should let the other person know their importance in your life. This is the time to tell your loved ones that they are indeed loved. Express your gratitude for the role that they play in your life and briefly recount how well you have gotten along so far and how well your relationship has sustained over time. Emphasize that you have never wanted to damage this relationship. Ask them to forgive you and give you another chance to make up for the wrong you have done. If you think that you are not able to express yourself completely by words, just lean forward and hug the other person. You need not utter a word. The gesture itself will explain everything.
2. Mean Everything You Say
The most important thing while asking for an apology is to mean what you are saying. Don’t ever apologize half heartedly. Accept your fault and show that you’re indeed very sorry for whatever wrong you have done and not just by mouth. “I’m Sorry. There, I said it. Now get it over with, already” is the worst possible way in which you can apologize to someone. Don’t sound like a jerk. Instead tell the other person honestly and with best intentions that you have realized your mistake and you never intend to repeat it in future. And don’t forget it the moment you say it. Do stick to your word. It is important for you to keep your promise if you want your apology to be sincere and complete and if you want to gain the trust of the other person.
1. Give It Some Time
Accept the fact that it might take other person some time to forgive you. Don’t get impatient if your apology is not accepted immediately. Give the other person some time and space to think. It is also better to leave the other person alone for some time to consider your apology and decide what s/he thinks is best. Before leaving, thank the other person for hearing you out and politely request them to consider your apology and give you a call if they ever change their mind.