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Love Mean Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

Well, that’s not true!

Every now and then, we ‘ve done something that we feel we need to apologize for- so here is your cheat sheet on the perfect apology.

An effective apology is both a Science and an Art. The science is basically the formula- what ingredients to combine under the right circumstances to produce the perfect reaction; that is to be forgiven.

The art is in how you apply the science- how you actually deliver the apology. When you combine the science and art of an apology you inevitably get the perfect apology.

There are two basic ways to deliver apologies. You can apologize in writing or verbally. In both cases you need to think through the apology to make sure that all the ingredients are present.

There are many variations in both written and verbal apologies but keep in mind these two key points when thinking about how to apologize.

1. A written apology gives the recipient the time to think about the situation and your apology, before responding. It can also have a deeper meaning, because you are writing it out, over a verbal apology. 2. A verbal apology does require that you be prepared for whatever conversation follows, based on your recipient's reaction- positive or negative. So be prepared to think on your feet.

Great Ideas for an Apology

Creativity and heartfelt feeling are the key points- here’s some ideas to get you started.

Poems/Quotes - A poem has long been considered one of the most thoughtful and romantic ways to communicate an apology. They capture the essence of a person's thought and often invoke an emotional or sensual response. This can be a really great way to apologize in a meaningful, emotional way. Put some thought into using a piece of poetry. Using quotes or quotations can also help to illustrate a point and enrich your apology. But like poems quotes should be used to support your apology and not be the apology itself

Music and lyrics - Think about a favorite song that you share and how you can bring that into your apology or offer it as a gift, but remember to relate the song to the situation by framing it within a traditional apology. Perhaps it's a song you were dancing to on your first date, or one you were both listening to on a memorable vacation, or the music that was playing on the radio when you had the fight. If it's relevant in some important way to your relationship or the situation then the addition of music or lyrics will likely enhance your apology. Relevance is a key to success when thinking about effective ways to say, “I’m sorry”.

To get you in the proper frame of mind to make your apology-

  • Take the time to reflect on what you did wrong—and then take a little MORE time to reflect on what you did wrong.

  • Use words that are very clear and accurately convey your thoughts and feelings. Be truly honest and be sincere when apologizing.

  • Use words that convey that you understand (and get) the other person's hurt feelings, and can appreciate why they are angry. Trying to convey or justify your feelings will likely be interpreted that you’re missing the point.

  • Don’t demand forgiveness and don't expect it—no matter how much time you've spent preparing the apology.

  • Don't try to evoke sympathy for yourself as part of the apology.

  • Avoid ALL qualifiers and hidden messages that might imply sharing responsibility for the problem/mistake—NEVER share the blame.

  • NEVER use the word BUT when giving an apology

Use these tips and you will be on the winning side of making an apology to your loved ones, every time!

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