Why can't I apologize to anyone?
“I'm sorry” - as your apology is also understood
Without any misunderstanding: this is the correct way to say sorry
It just happened there. Something came out of your mouth that does not correspond to your true opinion. You were just so upset and it was said ... Or you did something that hurt the other person. At that moment you did not realize that your actions would have such far-reaching consequences ...
There are many reasons for an apology to be necessary. The purpose of the apology is not. You want the other to know for sure that you are serious and that your remorse is real.
Here are a few tips on how to make your apology appropriate to the "damage". And how your counterpart can really perceive your repentance as such and thus forgive something more easily.
1. An apology needs to be pronounced promptly
The time between the injury and your apology should be as short as possible. Once you become aware of your mistake, show your remorse immediately. Only then will your counterpart not get the feeling that you are sitting out your wrongdoing for the time being and leaving him to wait with his grief. The longer you hesitate, the deeper the frustration digs into the other. And then it will be all the more difficult for you to get your apology accepted.
2. "Timely" does not mean "hasty"
Warning: Tip 1 said that you should express your regrets as soon as possible. However, if you rush the apology, it will lose its effect. That said, make sure you take your time to completely cool off the emotions. Only then can you clearly reflect on your misconduct. This enables you to go into all of the points during the conversation and, if necessary, to explain the reasons for your behavior. Your apology has a real chance of being taken as seriously as it is.
3. Only a voluntary apology is convincing
Everyone makes mistakes. Realize that you are no exception. Don't stop yourself from having to ask for forgiveness.
Always do this because you understand the other person's hurt. Never make an apology for the sake of peace. Or because you want to end the conflict quickly now, so just agree with the other. Then nobody can blame you if your counterpart does not perceive it as meant to be true. And let's be honest: at the moment it's not that either.
4. Voluntariness once again: Don't allow yourself to be pressed for an apology.
Do not respond to the rather dubious demand: “I want you to apologize!” This is not only due to the overly emotional situation, it also hardly leads to the desired result of hearing a satisfactory apology. Especially since this demand does not generate your remorse, but your defiance. In the midst of the charged mood, one can hardly blame you for that.
Better to break off the discussion at this point and take your time to think it over. As mentioned in point 2: only then can you calmly understand the feelings of the other person and make a credible, serious apology.
5. Always apologize personally
The more serious the misconduct, the greater the inhibition to approach the other. That is normal. You just don't know how injured the other is (still). Will he even want to listen? Is he preparing to hurt himself?
It is too tempting, for example, to send friends who first check the mood of the other person. Maybe bring the apology right away….
Send someone in front of you and you will achieve the exact opposite of what you want. The fact that you attract bystanders to take sides on your behalf only annoys the other person even more.
Hand on heart: Actually right, isn't it?
So keep your loved ones out. In case of doubt, they won't let themselves be harnessed anyway, because they also know that it alone makes the best impression to always personally stand up for your mistakes.
“Come on, talk to her!” Don't send your friends over if you have to apologize to your partner. This is a more than ugly gesture that only creates even greater displeasure against you.
6. Prepare your apology in the correct forum
The place for an apology also needs to be chosen. If the mistake was relatively small, a café or restaurant would be a good meeting point to talk about.
Was the misconduct greater and is there correspondingly great potential that a lot of emotion boils up? Then your apology cannot be tolerated in public. Make an appointment in your own four walls or choose an outdoor location that is not very busy. For example, a walk in a quiet piece of park may be suitable.
7. Always take your time
As part of an apology, there is always a need for clarification and explanation on both sides. You need to take your time to do this. Do not reschedule your meeting between other appointments that would have you cut off the conversation. Not only that your apology suddenly loses its effectiveness. Nobody likes the fact that their eventual forgiveness is treated as a need to be dealt with on the agenda. If the other wanted to continue the conversation, you would both have to replay everything again. Until then, the emotional burden will be dragged on unnecessarily. And it only makes forgiveness more difficult for the injured ...
8. Don't digress
What does your apology need? Address the occasion specifically, face your mistakes straight away. Only if you name them straight away will the other person know for sure that you are fully aware of what exactly you hurt them with. And only then is it possible for him to forgive you.
9. Don't talk down or out
There are many reasons for your wrongdoing. Somebody annoyed you, the whole day was annoying, someone told you something, seduced you ... Anyway: Basically it was not your fault.
Of course, external influences can provoke misconduct. Nevertheless, nobody made the mistake for you. Unfortunately, you were yourself. Do not assign responsibility for it to others or to anyone else.
It is just as tempting to downplay mistakes. It wasn't all that bad, wasn't it? This does not correspond to the feelings of the offended person, otherwise you are not having this conversation. By downplaying the situation, you are hurting the other person again.
So whether with excuses or trifles: With both you torpedo your own excuse. You do not show yourself repentant, but simply unreasonable.
10. Surprises help the apology work
They know of themselves that forgiveness cannot be bought. That should not be suggested here either. Support your apology with just a small, personal gift. Whether you cook, give flowers or a stuffed animal, offer something that makes the other happy. This shows that you have thought and dealt with HIM / HER. That already opens the door for your apology to be heard. You also make forgiving the offended much easier.
Sorry refused. If you've made a mistake, make sure you realize it and change your behavior. If you are and will remain, above all, “repeat offenders”, all of your expressed repentance will no longer be taken from you.
11. Last but not least: change your behavior
An effective apology does not only live on just felt remorse for the current occasion. It lives especially from the fact that you bring about a noticeable change in behavior in yourself. If you express repentance, but allow yourself the same faux pas again soon, your expressed regret will at least be doubted. Rather, your apologies generally lose credibility. And thus increasingly no longer pay any attention to other misconduct.
At a glance: This is how your apology will be correctly understood
1. Always apologize as soon as possible.
2. Take your time to calmly reflect on your mistake and reasons for it.
3. Don't apologize just to calm things down.
4. You absolutely need insight. So don't let any excuses be squeezed from you.
5. You personally made the mistake; only you personally can apologize.
6. Choose a location appropriate for the conversation.
7. You have no more appointments. All time now belongs to this conversation.
8. Talk forward about the occasion that requires your apology.
9. No excuses or small talk: stand by your mistake and its consequences.
10. Support your seriousness with a small, personal present
11. The most important thing last: Change your behavior - sustainably.
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