How To Apologize In A Relationship Like You Actually Mean It With 14 Helpful Tips And Be Happy

It’s really "Hard to Say I'm Sorry." Saying sorry doesn't come easily or naturally for most people and I’m not left out. We often get wrapped up in our world and might need to consider how we might be hurting others intentionally or not.


Whatever maybe the case, a genuine apology is necessary and may be the only thing that can repair a broken relationship.

Do you notice that apologizing is kind of a crazy and a weird thing to do? You're principally throwing yourself at the mercy of a person you've aggrieved and only hope they let go and say “it’s all good”.

You’ll likely get a good response if you apologize like you mean it because there's a right and a very wrong way to say you’re sorry. Just saying "sorry" in a text message or over a phone call will do little or nothing.

A sincere apology involves some digging deep, making yourself defenseless and exposing some or all of your flaws to the other person and that’s why apologizing is really hard for a lot of people. A sincere apology also means you’re ready to make amends which most of us aren’t cut out for. This also means being responsible for your actions too.

Naturally, a good apology taps into your communication skill, empathy and most importantly - trust. Even if it's a minor apology which most people overlook, it's still kind of a big deal to the other person in an emotional way.

The tips below will help you apologize in a more sincere way. Heartfelt apologies are really the best and quickest way to reconcile differences. If you speak from the heart and do what feels right, you'll have less fights or arguments in your relationships.

Ways to truly say you're sorry

1. Acknowledge what you did wrong.
According to Dr. Elizabeth M. Minei, the first step to making an apology is to explain the error. The person who made the mistake should acknowledge and demonstrate their understanding of why they hurt the other person. "The reason for this step is that an offer of 'Sorry!' without communicating that you've understood why the words or actions were hurtful results in less of an impact to the hearer," she says.

2. Dig into your feelings.
With reference with #1, you need to take a break to think things through so you go into your apology with a clear head. You need to know what you did, why you did it, why it upset your partner, and why it might be an issue in the future.

Note: If you don't think things through first, you could go in with some residual anger or resentment and make things worse for your relationships. Though there’re scenarios you know you’re absolutely wrong and apologizing that moment could save your relationship. But if it's a serious issue, you need to take the time to sort it out.

3. Be honest.
A sincere and humble apology according to New York City-based therapist Kimberly Hershenson, doesn't attempt to justify wrongdoing. Instead, it "shows that you recognize your hurtful actions, accept responsibility, and are willing to change."

Don’t apologize like politicians do. Often, they will say something like, 'I'm sorry if I hurt you,' or 'I'm sorry but ...' that’s no apology in human sense. You don’t apologize and at same time point finger or play the blame game with your apologies.

With reference to #3, according to Keba Richmond-Green, a mental health and relationship expert "It gives them the opportunity to either take it or leave it. When you ask for forgiveness, don’t expect an immediate response. Though it comes almost immediately.

Generally, when you ask for forgiveness, you give the other person a chance to react and respond. Give them plenty of time. Don’t go about asking them if they’ve forgiven you even if they never come around, this is an important gesture that puts the ball back in their court. It’s like turning the mouth of the gun against them. the fact here is that you’ve accepted you were wrong, apologized and sure want to move on and if the other person isn’t ready, it’s not your fault.

5. Be the bigger person and apologize.
Have you noticed that sometimes you were a little wrong and your partner was also a little wrong? At this junction, it's essential for you to be the bigger person and apologize. Take responsibility and be the one to apologize. You can talk things out later. This is one of relationship compromises.

6. Never think of an apology as a competition else you’ll ruin your relationship.
Most people within and outside marriage think apologizes are competitions. A partner want to be the one accepting apologizes all the time to be the so called winner. Such people don’t value their relationship but their destructive ego.

Marriage and family therapist Carolyn Cole says, an apology simply means that "you value the relationship more than your ego.

7. Don't blame other person.
According to relationship therapist Rhonda Milrad, "saying, 'I wouldn't have if you didn't do this first' sends a message that you are not taking responsibility for your actions." In other words, blaming the other person makes your apology not accepted or of no value and this is the most challenging hurdle to overcome most of the time. Most people are quick to point out how someone provoked them into acting the way they did.

8. Apologize the right way because there’s a right and wrong way to this.
It’s not a difficult thing to do. All you need to do is set the right mood in motion beforehand - No phones, No text apologies except when it can’t be avoided, No TV in the background, Just you, your partner, and some serious eye contacts. And then you just have to let out. Say, "I'm sorry...." and then explain what you're apologizing for. Sure this will lead to other important discussions and open the door for you both to share your emotions and ideas for a better relationship.

9. Be ready to apologize more than a few times.
With reference to #8, because the mood is right doesn’t mean they’ll accept your apologies. Sometimes one sorry won’t do the job. To show genuine apology, Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin strongly recommends repeatedly asking for forgiveness and offering reassurance to loved ones, especially for serious errors.

"To apologize and expect life to return to normal because you said sorry is unrealistic," he says. "This contrition will help reduce the anger/tension that the other may be feeling and help rebuild the trust."

It’s actually more than apologizing over and over again without listening to your partner. Also, it’s a waste of time apologizing without your partner or the other person responding to your apologies.

Now, if you're in a situation where you need to apologize, your partner is certainly going to have some feelings or thoughts about the situation and will have something to say and you have to listen because it’s your job. Now is the time for you to listen to what they have to say and not just hear; really listen.

This means tuning in, putting yourself in their shoes, and acknowledging you heard what they said. It's not the time to interrupt or disagree. It's just the time to listen and take notes to avoid future occurrence.

11. Let your actions speak as well.
Apologizing is not bad but not taking action is. If you apologize for any reason, say you forgot a date night and you recognize how it makes your partner feel, and you make a plan to change, you need to follow through and this is where your actions come to play.

The very next time you have a date night, you can't be late or forget the date without a really, really good excuse. Your actions in this situation will speak louder than your words. If you don't follow through, you're not just making your partner question your abilities, but also your partner's trust.

To avoid distrust from creeping into your relationship, you have to do all you can not to forget such important dates like setting reminders, etc.

12. Gift your partner in a romantic way.
You don't need to buy off your partner, and gifts are no excuses for real, healthy communication after a disagreement. But in a time of vulnerability, it can make your partner feel really validated and special if you do something romantic. Buy a gift that you know they'll love, make dinner, or do something fun just to lighten the air and bring a little happiness into your lives. Don't mistake this act with your meaningful apology.

13. Tell them how you’ll change.
With reference to #11, you’ll agree that an apology is meaningless if nothing changes subsequently – actions, behavior, etc. This is why it is so important to follow up with a "how you plan to change your behavior to avoid this problem in the future," - Dr. Jesse Matthews.

Most importantly, you must follow through with the changes you promised else you’ll be violating their confidence in you rapidly. A follow through plan and sticking to it is the only way that the other person will know that you are genuinely sorry.

14. Prepare/make a plan.
Apologies are antidotes for anger.  If you did something wrong and you've apologized, that's a great first step to reconciliation. But to show you really mean it, you need to make a plan. This plan can include how to react to situations, how not to forget important dates - how to avoid future incidents, how to make amends, or what you can both do to improve your communication skills.
Sometimes, your partner has to be in the picture/plan. If there's a specific problem at hand, you can make a plan to address that with your partner.

But what if they refuse to forgive you

An expert, Minei has found that "a well planned and executed apology is 12 times more likely to generate forgiveness from the recipient." She further advised that if peradventure your apology is not accepted, that you assess the reason why it wasn’t accepted and work towards correcting that notion.

If the other person says they need more time, you might respond with, "I understand, and I’m willing to give you more time. I'd like to call you next week — does that sound all right?" – they’ll understand you’re persuading them to forgiving you and they’ll surely give it a second thought.

In restoration process, sometimes, people may hesitate in granting forgiveness because the offered restoration isn't enough because of the damage caused and Minei says in such cases, you might respond with, "I'd like to know what I can do to make this right. Can we brainstorm together?" This shows that you are willing to do whatever it takes to make amends.

In conclusion, there are times when people completely refuse your apology no matter how well-intentioned or heartfelt it sounds. At such times, Minei suggests that you can only respond by stating your desire to maintain your relationship. You could say, "I understand that you want nothing to do with me, and I regret that my mistake has led us to this place. I do not want to end our friendship and can only say that if you change your mind, I would be willing to continue our relationship." But afterward, you should let them have their peace.

Putting things off too long just gives time for resentment and anger to build.
Apologies will never be easy, but hopefully these tips will make them better.
Just remember that the key to a good apology is to speak from the heart and to show a little empathy. Deep down, we all just want to feel understood and loved.

Picture: Pexels
How To Apologize In A Relationship Like You Actually Mean It With 14 Helpful Tips And Be Happy How To Apologize In A Relationship Like You Actually Mean It With 14 Helpful Tips And Be Happy Reviewed by Civian on 14:51 Rating: 5

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