How to Apologize

“I messed up! I’’m not sure how to apologize.”

how to apologizeSometimes, we hurt the one’s we love. Knowing when and how to apologize is a skill that can save a wounded relationship. Whether you intended to or not, you made a mistake and you hurt someone you love. It’’s time to say, “I’’m sorry.”

There really are no tricks on ways to apologize other than truly meaning it. Sincerity really goes a long way when admitting guilt and often this sincerity can help strengthen the relationship.

Apologizing just to avoid another fight or public embarrassment is a dumb idea. They have to know (and you have to make it clear) that the ultimate reason for your apology is that you won’’t say or do the damaging thing again. There are many little characteristics of a well-made apology. If you’’re saying sorry, you might as well make it mean something.

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Waiting too long to say sorry is often as bad as saying nothing at all. It shows that you aren’t that concerned or maybe came to this point only after enough of your friends and family urged you to. We all think back to the time that our mothers stood over us and forced us to say we’’re sorry for something. When you wait too long, it often gives the same impression.

That’’s not to say that you should make an apology right away. Sometimes immediate apologies work perfect, but sometimes the other person is just too hurt to hear it. Letting the initial shock of pain settle in a little bit might help add meaning to your apology. Knowing how to apologize after the anger stage makes saying sorry much more effective since arguing about it often makes it worse. And when someone is angry, they are much less likely to listen to what you have to say.

Saying why you need to apologize

If he’s mad at you but you’re not sure why, apologizing for everything is not a good way to make things better. You have to know what you’re sorry for and you need to make it clear in how you ask for forgiveness. Saying, “I’m sorry” is not as effective as saying, “I’m sorry for calling you an idiot [or insert your reason here].” When he knows why you know you’re sorry. Then the healing process can start much quicker. You might even find that what you’re sorry for is not the real issue. Either way, understanding what you did to hurt him and letting him know that shows you are trying hard to regain his trust.

It’s your fault

Some people have a big problem “sharing the blame” when learning how to apologize. “I’m sorry for cheating on you, but you’re never around,” is not an apology. Everything that comes before the “but” is negated once you place some of the blame on him.

If you messed up and did something truly worthy of an apology, then what he did doesn’t really matter. We’’re not saying that his actions (or inactions) are not part of what got you here in the first place, but blame just has no place in a heart-felt apology. You have to acknowledge his right to be angry and disappointed and own up to your misdeeds.

Things that he can do to help heal this wound can be part of your atonement, but for now, just take the blame and let him know that you mean it.

Knowing why you need to apologize

Admitting you were wrong is not as powerful as admitting why you were wrong. Knowing why he’’s hurt goes a long way to showing him that you understand him and you’’re sensitive to his feelings. It also shows how sincere you are about making things right and have already committed to avoiding hurting him in the future.


Sometimes, this is impossible, but you should always try to apologize in-person. Cellphones and email have made communicating cheap… almost meaningless. When you make the effort on attempting how to apologize directly to the person’s face, it just makes the apology that much more meaningful.

Really mean it

Saying sorry is never any fun. Don’t waste this discomfort by forgetting the pain you caused. If you’re going to say I’m sorry, mean it! Mean it by your actions. Mean it in your words. Know what you did wrong and simply don’’t do it anymore.

Stop putting yourself into the position where you need to apologize. Take responsibility for your actions. Understand that we are all able to know that what we are about to do is wrong. When you get that feeling like you’re about to get yourself in trouble, step back and pause. Not needing to ask forgiveness is a better route than figuring out how to apologize.

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If you follow everything you see here, give him a heartfelt apology and really mean it, you’ll be snuggling up to your love again in no time!

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