Why is it so hard to say these two simple words which have the ability to cover a multitude of mistakes?
It is because we hate to admit we were or did something wrong.
Somewhere in the admission is a sense that in some way we failed.
And yet, simply saying these words does not make it the perfect apology.
We need to include a few more statements
Along with saying I’m Sorry we should include our view of the details of what we are sorry for. This way you will both be on the same page and know you are talking about the same offense. Try not to bring reasons or rationalizations into your explanation. Simply state the facts as you see them.
Never use the word “But” anywhere near you apology. This word is used to try and justify or rationalize or in some other way offset your responsibility for your words or actions. It is used by people who want to “Win” even in the face of defeat.
Sure, it is understandable that you may feel hurt because you caused someone else a hurt.
It may even be hard for you to acknowledge and take responsibility for your part.
We need to acknowledge that our words or actions have hurt someone and then we should take responsibility for them.
“I said I would be here before 6 so you would have time to get ready before dinner and I didn’t make it. I know how important being on time is to you.”
Beyond expressing our regret we should ask for forgiveness for our words or actions.
After that we can make a promise to not make that mistake again and offer restitution.
“I’m sorry I’m late; I failed to plan for traffic. Next time I’ll allow 15 extra minutes or take a different street. Can you forgive me? How about I buy dessert tonight?”
An apology that is genuine and sincere needs no response from the other party or even expects one. It is simply making a statement of the facts that caused the hurt and your desire to move on from it.
Receiving an apology can be another kind of trial. When someone has done or said something that has hurt you, you may not be ready to hear an apology. Even after hearing one you may still feel hurt and not be willing to forgive.
You need to let go as soon as you can so you can move on with your life.
That does not mean you must forgive and forget.
Trust must be earned.
The question you must ask yourself is “Do I want to be right or happy?”
You can chose to hold onto your hurt or let it go.