You might be questioning the importance of understanding and learning how to apologize to someone you hurt deeply, right?
Although relationships can be effective brokers of peace and relieving stress, conflicts that arise from relationships can bring about a significant amount of stress and emotional pain.
The knowledge of when to apologize and the appropriate way to apologize can save a soured relationship from further damage.
Lack of knowledge of how and when to apologize, however, can deteriorate an already damaged relationship.
When you know the right things to say, it is quite easy to give an effective apology.
We’ll be looking at some of the easy steps that will help you learn the right and appropriate ways to apologize effectively and sincerely.
Still here? Don’t go anywhere. Read to the end!
Understanding Reasons and Seeing the Need to Apologize
Lots of good and valid reasons abound why you should apologize when you hurt another person or made a mistake.
Just by the virtue of tendering an apology, you’ll achieve the following:
- Own up to the fact that you were wrong.
- Talk about what is obtainable, the things that are both acceptable and unacceptable in your relationship with the other person.
- Make your remorse and regret known to the one you hurt.
- Pick a lesson or two from the things you erred in and look for new and improved ways to deal with difficult situations.
- Keep your line of communication with the other person open.
Relief can also be brought about by a sincere apology, especially if you feel guilty about your actions.
Indeed, tendering an apology alone cannot make everything fine or make the hurt go away.
The good thing about an apology is that it establishes the fact that you’re aware that your words or actions were wrong.
Giving the right apology also shows that in the future, you’ll put in more effort to ensure that the incident does not repeat itself.
You can end up destroying both your professional and personal relationships if you fail to apologize when you are wrong.
Failure to apologize may lead to an accumulation of anger, hostility, and resentment over time.
Studies have shown that one of the main reasons why people fail to apologize is that they feel the other party is not their problem and as such, they are less concerned about them.
They also feel that apologizing is a threat to their self-image.
In some cases, they believe that the deed is already done and so, an apology will not change a thing.
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Knowing When to Apologize
One thing that is as important as knowing how to apologize to someone you hurt deeply is knowing when to apologize.
By the rule of thumb, it is a good thing to clear the air and apologize whenever you suspect that your action might be by accident or on purpose hurt someone else.
Just know that an apology is in order if that action of yours would have been a problem if you were on the receiving end.
Even if you’re not sure that you hurt someone by your actions, tendering an apology will allow you to own up to your mistakes and as well, go over what you thought was the right line of action.
There is always a chance to thrash issues through dialogue if you feel that the other party is being unfair and unreasonable.
After you must have talked with them about the issue, it’s up to you to decide then, if it’s something that requires an apology or not.
There’s no denying the fact that a heartfelt apology does a lot when it comes to mending broken relationships yet it is very difficult for people to man up and apologize.
The truth is that it can be too humbling and hard to admit that you were wrong.
Studies have shown that the people who are more likely to take responsibility for and tender apologies for their wrong actions are those who believe that one’s personality can be changed.
It is easier for them to accept their mistakes and take the blame because they feel that it is an avenue for growth, change, and learning.
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Show Regret and Remorse for Your Actions
In the process of learning and understanding how to apologize sincerely, it is also important that you understand the importance of showing regret for the action that caused the hurt.
You must take responsibility for your actions, but it is more important to show the other person that you feel so bad for hurting them, and you wish you didn’t.
It’s that simple. They feel bad already. Just let them know that you feel bad for making them feel bad.
Here are some of the appropriate things to say whenever you want to apologize:
“I wish I’d thought of your feelings as well.”
“I wish I had been more thoughtful.”
“I wish I could take it back.”
All of these sentences are laced with regret that will help convey your sincere apologies to show the other person that you are sorry for hurting them.
Correct the Situation
If there’s anything you can do or any way you can amend the situation, you should.
An important part of tendering a sincere apology is being willing to put some action into righting your wrongs.
See if you can replace an item that you spoilt.
Say nice things to help ameliorate the hurtful words you hurled at them.
Try to rebuild the trust that you broke.
In any way, you think you can try to make amends for your wrongs.
And if you’re not sure of what you can do to help make them feel better after giving an apology, feel free to ask them how you can make them feel better or even make it all go away.
You also have to bear in mind, however, that no matter how much you apologize and put in action to right your wrongs, sometimes a broken relationship cannot be repaired.
People differ and despite the sincerity of your apologies, it may be hard for the other person to let it go and forgive.
They might forgive you but still act guarded around you.
You’re not in charge of the way other people react to hurt and as long as you’ve done what’s necessary, let them be.
I highly recommend Gary Chapman‘s book, The Five Languages of Apology
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