The words "I'm sorry" can heal hearts and avert wars. You find them in every culture.
As children, we learn to say we are sorry whenever we hurt other people or do them wrong.
It's Simple: You Do Anyone Wrong, You Say You Are Sorry.
But used wrongly, the gesture loses its meaning.
It becomes a mere formality.
A True Apology Has To Come From Deep Within
Unless your apology is as loud as the disrespect or the mistake you made, then it's not genuine.
Here is how to make your apology match your wrongdoing.
1. Say You're Sorry
This should be the easy part. And for most people, it is. It's where a good apology starts. It shows you acknowledge that you have done something bad and require forgiveness.
But unless you mean these words, they count for nothing, and that reflects badly on you. Make sure you are sorry before you utter these words.
2. Explain Why You Are Sorry
While saying sorry is a good gesture, make sure you can say why you are sorry.
What did you do? Why are you sorry?
This shows you have empathy, and that you understand what the other person is going through. When the person you are saying "I'm sorry" to asks you why you are sorry, you should be able to explain yourself.
3. Say You Understand Why You Are Sorry
The person you are apologizing to needs to feel that you fully understand why you are sorry. Explain how your actions led to an outcome that put you in a position where you now need to apologize. This is how you make your apology genuine.
4. Explain What You Have Learned
We need to learn from our mistakes. Every time. So, as you apologize, make sure you explain what you have learned, so it's clear that the mistake will not be repeated in the future.
So, an apology should not be about getting the other person to get you off the hook, but also a chance to show that you have learned something from the experience.
5. Make It Clear You Understand The Consequences Of Your Actions
Letting the person you are apologizing to understand that you know your actions had negative consequences is very important. You should also clarify that you take responsibility for these consequences and will make sure you don't act as you did again.
6. Explain How You Will Change
Here, you just need to say that you have no intention of ever repeating the mistake. You also explain that you will make any positive changes that can rectify the situation. This should be simple.
7. Seek Forgiveness
To clarify that your "I'm sorry" means something, ask for forgiveness. Ask the other person to forgive you for what you have done. If the forgiveness is not forthcoming, then understand you might have to do something to earn it, and some of the above steps might help.
Making an apology is never easy, but it can mean the world to someone you have hurt. A genuine apology should not come from a point of self-interest. So, don't always apologize because you need to salvage the relationship or gain something from the person you wronged.
Apologizing says plenty about your character. So, if you know you have disrespected someone, make sure your apology matches your error. Let your apology be as loud as your disrespect.