As a parent, I apologize on a daily basis.
I’m sorry we can’t have marshmallows for breakfast. I’m sorry Daddy has to leave for work. I’m sorry you fell off of your bike.
Ever notice some people NEVER apologize?
It’s like…a refusal to empathize. But WHY would your loved one do that?! Trying to figure that out can make you crazy…
Luckily, there is this thing called the internet. If you google search the terms “how to apologize,” you will see that it is a fairly straight forward process that involves CARE.
I made a movie about this today:
If you don’t know how to apologize, click here.
If you took the time to read that article, you now know that saying the words ‘I’m sorry’ are a mere fraction of the steps involved in the apology process.
Start off with what went wrong.
Begin the apology by stating what went wrong and the feelings your words or actions caused. Be detailed about what happened so that the other person knows exactly what you’re apologizing for. Make it a point to avoid using the words “but” or “if”. An apology is a statement, so it shouldn’t be conditional. Remember that an apology has nothing to do with right and wrong or whose fault it was – an apology simply means that you made someone feel bad with your words or actions and you are sorry about that.
Do not say “I’m sorry you feel that way” or “I’m sorry if you were offended.” Be sorry for what you said or did, and the pain that it caused someone else. “I’m sorry you feel that way” makes it seem like you are blaming the other person for feeling bad, and is not a real apology. When you apologize, you should recognize that the other person was hurt and that you are sorry about that.
It is NEVER too late to make amends. Every single day that you allow to go by without apologizing for hurting your loved one is the perpetration of an ongoing offense that necessarily adversely impacts the quality of that relationship.
Think about that. If it is your policy to “never apologize” because it is just “too hard,” that is a character flaw. Change that today.
You can do it! People change all the time, that’s called growth. Hopefully. Sometimes people change for other reasons. Either way, if you hurt your loved one, it is up to you to make it right.