HOW TO APOLOGIZE
I'm definitely not perfect at apologizing, but I do want to offer up some thoughts on the subject. Apologizing is critical to any relationship and I think there is much we can consider when it comes to making things right with someone.
- •Follow up as quickly as possible.Better late than never, but at the same time, it's best to repair the relationship before the rift gets too wide.
- •Think about the medium.Apologizing in person has the most impact. If you can't make that happen, pick up the phone (to call, not text). Emails and text messages can seem cowardly because they are so easy.
- •Leave your pride at the door.It's hard, but this is not your time to prove a point or be right. Embrace humility.
- •Empathize. Put yourself in the other person's shoes.You'll be more genuine and it will be easier to make amends if you are thinking about their point of view.
- •Be specific and make sure you both know the exact situation that you are referencing.Example: I am sorry that I said XYZ at the party last night.
- •Acknowledge their feelings.Example: I know that was extremely hurtful and must have made you feel upset. I am so sorry.
- •Don't say "but" or "however" or anything along those lines.Again, this is not your time to be right. If you must explain your perspective, be careful. Don't make this about your side - apologizing is not about you.
- •Don't say: "I'm sorry if I made you feel..."This makes it seem like the problem is on them for feeling bad. If only they weren't so sensitive! Don't fall into this kind of self-serving apology.
- •Share what you've learned or what you're going to do differently now.Because you want them to know you'll do everything in your power for it not to happen again. (However, if you can't make that promise... then don't.)