When we are guilty of having done or said something that hurt or inconvenienced people around us, an apology is often offered. However, many people do have problems apologising even when they know they need to. An apology is meant to take responsibility for our actions and ask for forgiveness. In most cases, people are quick to forgive when the apology is sincere.
Unfortunately when the apology is not forthcoming, a strain may develop in your relationship and interactions with that person.
Learning how to apologise is important part of our social interactions.
The keys to an apology are:
- Admitting your mistake.
Admitting your mistake is you taking responsibility for your word and deeds. It says that you know and accept that you were wrong, and it puts you in a humbling position. Without admitting to your mistakes, the other person will have a hard time accepting any apology you might offer. It will come across as insincere.
- Expressing your remorse.
Showing that you are remorseful tells the other person you understand that your words and deeds had a negative effect on them; and it acknowledges their feelings. Without remorse, the other person will think you are just going through the motions to apologise but you don’t really mean it. The emotional effect must be acknowledged.
- Offering to make amends.
When you offer to make amends, you are saying that you are willing to take action to help settle the situation or alleviate some of the effects. Perhaps it can be replacing something you broke, or sometimes just listening to the other person tell you how they feel. Unless there are legal considerations, most people will accept your sincerity to make the situation right, even if they don’t always take you up on the offer to make amends.
The key to a proper apology and having the other person accept it is to be sincere. This doesn’t mean they will accept your apology right away. It could take a while, but you have taken the first important steps to resolving the situation. At the end of the day, apologies are important parts of our interpersonal communications and interactions with other people. Learning how to apologise and ensuring you can apologise can fix a lot of problems and preventing future resentments.
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