In a perfect world, there would never be any reason for apologies. People would always get along and never say or do anything hurtful. But since we live in the real world and not the perfect world, we need to know how to say we are sorry the right way.
Whether intentionally or accidentally you will sometime in your life offend someone close to you. What you do about it is what will make the most difference. Learning how to say you are sorry the right way will help you to repair and retain the important relationships in your life.
The best place to start, is at the beginning. Simply saying you are sorry. But you have to mean every bit of it. Don’t apologize if you don’t really feel sorry. More bad will come than good if you say you are sorry without meaning. It may ruin any future attempts at apology that are sincere.
Make sure that you can admit wrong doing. Telling them that you are in the wrong helps them to see that you know what you have done to offend them. You may give them a reason for your actions, but you don’t have to. They may not want to know why, or if they do they will ask.
Find out how you can make it right with them. They might have something that can be done as reconciliation. It may be physical, financial, or emotional depend on the offense. Make sure that if you agree to make things right that you are willing to do them completely and without causing offense to you. This means going in with a sincere desire to fix what you did.
Let them know that you will never do it again. Growing up sorry meant that you would never do it again, but as you got older the meaning seemed to change. Let your friend or whoever you offended know that you have no intentions of repeating your mistake. This will help them find peace in knowing they aren’t being taken advantage of.
Ask them for forgiveness. But remember that it is their choice whether they give it to you or not. Being truly sorry means that you want to put the whole mess behind you and being forgiven means that it will never be drug up again. True forgiveness means burying your difference for good.
Make sure that you can forgive yourself for what you did. You will never be able to accept their sincere forgiveness if you have not forgiven yourself. Remember that you are human and that everyone makes mistakes. Vow to yourself that you will never repeat your mistake again. Take that vow very seriously and take it upon yourself to become a better person in spite of your imperfections.
They may choose not to forgive you, which is something they will have to deal with. Be understanding and don’t take offense to it. Make sure that you don’t harbor bad feelings if they refuse your apology. They may come around eventually and if they do you don’t want to drive another wedge in your relationship.
It is normal to be scared as you go in to ask forgiveness and say you are sorry. Make sure you get it right and practice in the mirror. Practice will help calm your nerves.
Being a good and true friend doesn’t mean you have a perfect relationship, it just means that you have a relationship that is worth working on. Saying you are sorry is something you may never be done with in your life, it makes you human. But learning from past mistakes and offences can make the future of your relationship that much brighter.