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The Lost Art Of Apologizing (And How To Do It Right Every Time)

Be sincere

The only time to apologize is when you’re genuinely remorseful. 

Avoid any apology that is forced. The person you are apologizing to will pick up on your insincerity, causing further feelings of distrust.

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The Lost Art Of Apologizing (And How To Do It Right Every Time)

The Lost Art Of Apologizing (And How To Do It Right Every Time)

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-24481/the-lost-art-of-apologizing-and-how-to-do-it-right-every-time.html

mindbodygreen.com

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Key Ideas

Be sincere

The only time to apologize is when you’re genuinely remorseful. 

Avoid any apology that is forced. The person you are apologizing to will pick up on your insincerity, causing further feelings of distrust.

Be honest and vulnerable

In order to show your sincerity when apologizing, you must be honest and vulnerable. That can lead to the cultivation of meaningful relationships. It can also lead to rejection, which is what makes it so scary. 

When you apologize, be willing to share openly and candidly, allowing emotions to flow freely, so that you can be fully seen.

Admit fault

Take responsibility for your actions and admit your mistakes or transgressions. State them out loud. Yes, it will be scary. It will feel shameful for a time. But it is worth it.

Explain why you did it

... and the reasons it was wrong.

This is not to be confused with offering excuses for your actions. 

State your understanding of the reasons this was not the best choice and how the choice (or series of choices) affected both you and the other person. 

Use “I” statements

Take care to avoid blaming others for your mistakes. Use statements that are about you rather than others involved, by starting your sentences with “I.” 

Say “I’m sorry”

Have you ever had someone attempt to apologize to you who never actually said, “I’m sorry”? If so, you know how infuriating that can be. 

An effective apology always includes the verbal acknowledgement that you are sorry.

Make amends

The person receiving the apology will want to know how you plan to make things right again in order for them to start rebuilding trust and moving forward.

State what you will do differently next time, to avoid repeating this type of transgression. 

Avoid pushing

... the other person toward forgiveness.

Now that your part is done, the only thing left to do is to sit back and wait. Work to release the guilt and let go of the desire to be forgiven. 

The person you apologized to must have time and space to collect their thoughts and decide for themselves what is best.

Apologizing does not make you weaker

By recognizing and acknowledging your faults and attempting to make amends to the injured party, you are taking the high road. This demonstrates your strength, courage, compassion, and wisdom.

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The Chance to Move Forward

When people focus on their core values, they seem to become more willing to sincerely apologize. 

By understanding the many barriers to an apology— the indifference to another’s pain or the fraying of a relationship—we can glimpse what’s holding us back from saying “I’m sorry” in a particular situation. 

From there, we have the opportunity to change course and let the healing begin.

How to Make a Good Apology

A high-quality apology has three elements:

  1. It accepts responsibility for the wrong and doesn’t even hint that outside forces, or the victim, caused the offender to do what they did.
  2. It’s unqualified. If the apology contains a “but,” it fails. There’s time later—after the injury has had time to heal—to bring up any qualifications that might be relevant to future interactions.
  3. It offers to make amends to avoid the transgression in the future.
An apology

An apology is one of the most profound interactions two human beings can have with one another.

Research by Lazare and others suggests effective apologies—meaning those that are accepted by ...

Timing

When people make the common mistake of saying they’re sorry too quickly, they can miss a crucial step towards reconciliation.

If someone commits a serious transgression, it’s best to apologize only after the victim has had a chance to “yell and vent” and fully process the betrayal.

Apologies that come too late, like those that come too early, are likely to fail; the sweet spot is somewhere between the two.

Assuring the victim
Assure the victim that the bad behavior won’t happen again.

You should be more focused on the other person, making sure they really believe that you get what you did wrong. Without that emphasis on the other person’s emotional state—and the promise of change—an apology sounds insincere.

one more idea

Apologies are not about right and wrong

They're about taking responsibility for unintentionally (or even intentionally) hurting someone emotionally or physically.

You apologize less because of you and your c...