By Ruth Purple
As human beings, we are all prone to mistakes, as a matter of fact; it is synonymous to making mistakes. But as human beings, we are also given a choice to redeem ourselves from the mistakes we did through apologizing. For some, it is an arduous task, because their pride gets in the way. But if you want to make things right again and want to know how to say sorry with all sincerity, then here are some tips for you:
* Know what you are apologizing for. Did you say something hurtful? Did you break a promise? You can’t apologize sincerely if you don’t know what you are apologizing about. Have an awareness of how you hurt the offended person, so that you will know exactly how to make it up to them.
* Take full responsibility. When apologizing, don’t make excuses or blame other people. Keep in mind that an apology with an excuse is not as apology. Other people or unavoidable circumstances may have contributed to the situation, but you cannot apologize for them. You can only say you’re sorry for yourself. So stop blaming other people.
* Find the right timing for apologizing. Some people say that you should apologize right after you did the deed, but it can sometimes aggravate things. Give a little time for the offended party to calm down before approaching and apologizing.
* Face to face apology works best. An apology through e-mail, text message, or phone can come as insincere. One factor that makes apologizing very effective is the effort you exerted in doing it. Unless of course, it’s impossible for you to face the offended person personally, then a phone call or e-mail can be enough.
* The proper way of apologizing is to be specific about your offense, followed by the pain or damage it caused. For example: “I’m sorry, I’m 15 minutes late, honey, and I hope you don’t feel neglected. Just tell me how I can make it right again.”
* Validate their feelings. Never say: “I’m sorry you feel that way….” or “I’m sorry you feel offended…” or “I’m sorry but…” You make it sound like you are blaming the other person for being offended or too sensitive.
* Have the awareness on what caused you to offend the other person. Explain the underlying cause of you irrational deed to the person you are apologizing to, but never make it as an excuse. After explaining, present to them a solution on how you can avoid the problem again. Example: “I’m sorry I snapped and mentioned some harsh words. I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings. Just tell me how I can make it up to you. I was so stressed- out at work lately, I have deadlines one after another. It won’t happen again. I enrolled in time management training and signed- up for some relaxation activity…”
* Tell the person you offended how important he or she is to you. After explaining the underlying reason of your offense, reiterate how important that person is to you and you don’t what to create permanent damage in your relationship.
* Be patient. After apologizing, don’t expect things will turn out the way you expect it to be. Just be thankful the offended party gave time to hear your apology. They may want to forgive you, but they need a little more time to cool- off, or sometimes they may have certain conditions before totally forgiving you, whatever it is, be ready to take the consequences of your actions.
* Keep your promises. If you promised not to do a certain deed again, then swear in your life that you will not do it again. Because a person who doesn’t value his words, is a person who doesn’t deserved to be valued.
The author of this article, Ruth Purple, is a successful Relationship Coach who has been helping and coaching individuals and couples for many years.