A Successful Apology
A perfect apology has to be without ego, an expression of genuine regret, and the assumption of full responsibility: I am so sorry that you were hurt, this accident is completely my fault, and I really was going too fast, and too carelessly.
A botched or half-hearted apology taints the act of apologising, not leaving space for any further apology to arise from the other person.
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When done rightly, apologies can heal relationships, dissolve anger and hatred, and mend broken bonds. The problem is that we don’t apologize very well, and end up stirring further anger.
Our nonapologies are ruining our relations and making our lives even more miserable and complex.
Apologies bring us face-to-face with the fact that we have something to apologize for, triggering a sense of guilt and shame.
Saying sorry puts one’s shameful behavior out there. That’s why transgressors often view an apology as threatening to their self-image and consequently hesitate to offer one.
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 an offended party—all tend to share a set of underlying features.
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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