When a word or phrase is said and heard over and over again, it’s meaning gradually fades away. A prime example is the phrase “I am sorry” or “I’m sorry”. Whenever we do something that we think might offend or inconvenience another person, we quickly blurt out these words. But when the situation is not so simple and feelings and even persons are physically hurt, saying the same phrase is often ineffective.
There is a better and proper way to apologize so that the sincerity of your words are conveyed and we should practice these steps more often.
An apology should contain 2 components: it should show remorse for your actions and acknowledge the hurt that you caused the other person because of your actions. The main goal of an apology is to rebuild the trust that was temporarily lost due to your actions while mending the hurt in the process. So how do you apologize properly?
1.Express Your Remorse
You always start with “I’m sorry” or “I apologize” as these words express remorse over your actions. Follow that with an honest assessment of how you feel to convey your sincerity. For example, you can say: “I apologize for shouting at you so suddenly. I feel embarrassed by how I acted just now.”
Make sure to apologize as soon as you realise your actions; otherwise your apology will loose its sincerity.
2. Admit Your Responsibility
Acknowledge what you did and admit responsibility for your actions or behavior. Don’t make assumptions about the other person’s feelings but try to empathise with them by putting yourself in their shoes and express how that might have felt for them.
For example, you can say: “I know that I hurt your feelings when I shouted at you and I’m sure that it embarrassed you since everyone was there. It was wrong of me to do that to you.”
3. Make Your Amends
Making amends means taking action to correct your mistake and make things right. Offer to do something for the person to make them feel better and correct the situation. Be sure not to make empty promises though as this will only worsen the situation.
You can offer to make up for the situation by saying: “If there’s anything I can do to make this up to you, please ask.” Or offer more specific action such as: “I realise that I am in the wrong so please provide us more details about your suggestion earlier.”
4. Promise Not To Do It Again
The last step in your apology is to make a promise not to repeat the action or your behavior. This step is important as it gives the other person the reassurance that they need to trust you again and repair your relationship with them.
For example: “I promise I’ll listen to what you have to say first before I draw conclusions. You can also call me out on this if I do it again.”
In order to make an effective apology, remember that you need to be honest with yourself. Try to see the situation from the other person’s perspective and don’t offer excuses. Don’t expect immediate forgiveness either but continue showing your sincerity through your actions.
Try these steps next time you need to apologize. As long as you’re sincere about it, you should be able to regain the trust of your friend and better your relationship with them.