Apologizing can be tough. Depending on the situation….really tough.
But you clicked on this article to get some tips on how to apologize, so you probably have to say sorry to someone. Or at least you are considering it, and that’s good! Although it is hard, it shows that you are sensitive to others, that you care about the situation, and that you are taking the responsibility to admit you might have messed up.
It’s important to know the steps to apologize.
- Look at the person. If possible, try and meet with them in person. This may seem harder than just calling/texting them but it shows confidence and that you care enough to do so.
- Say what you are sorry about. This part seems pretty obvious, but it is critical that you don’t make excuses. Describe why you are sorry. Now is not the time to say why you did what you did or that they just misunderstood. This is about taking responsibility for your role in whatever happened.
- Make a follow-up statement. Plan for how you will do better in the future in order to avoid the same mistake. Share this plan with the person you are apologizing to, this can be a great touch to show that you’re genuine with your apology.
- Thank them for listening. This is the cherry on top of your apology. Take the time to thank them for giving you the chance to apologize and for listening to your apology. This goes even if they don’t accept it. This fourth step is certainly not easy, but it allows you to walk out of the situation with your head held high and confidence in your ability to step up and be responsible.
Be as sincere and genuine as you can and don’t be too hard on yourself if the first couple of apologies don’t go exactly as planned. Like everything it is a skill and takes time to develop.