How To Apologize For Reals
Most people don't know how to actually apologize.
Posted Jan 02, 2018
So many believe they’re giving an apology when they’re actually giving an explanation. There is a difference. One is from the heart. The other, from logic and ego. If the words “I’ am sorry” never come out of your mouth, you’re not apologizing. You’re giving excuses on why you did what you did or said what you said. Again, that is not an apology. That is an explanation.
Most people don’t apologize. They explain.
It doesn’t matter how gentle or soft your approach is, you could be crying for all I care. If you don’t actually say you’re sorry, your apology is half-baked. You’re allowing ego and pride to stand in the way of your heart. It goes back to ownership. If you’re going to own it, f*cking own it and say you were wrong, you made a mistake, you. are. sorry. It’s amazing to me how many people won’t say they’re sorry. If you don’t, you’re ending your apology with a giant “but”. And a “but” cancels your apology out.
A true apology comes from a non-defensive place. It comes seeing that you hurt someone, whether your fault or not, someone was hurt. Self-inventory and examining what happened can come later. First, you apologize for hurting someone.
So let’s break this shit down since no one teaches us how to apologize.
She is mad at you for something.
Hear her. Try to understand before trying to be understood.Tip: literally repeat what she just said, not in a patronizing way. In a sincere way, so she knows she was heard. For example, “So what I hear you saying is you are mad because I talked to my ex at the party.” She replies, “Yes, it hurt me. I understand you guys are good friends now and were before I met you but it seemed like you were flirting with her”. THIS is the fork in the road. You will want to be defensive because you weren’t flirting with her. I get it. You guys were talking about business. But that’s the wrong road that many take and they end up digging a giant hole both to fall into and can’t get out of.
The right road is to first address her hurt. APOLOGIZE for it. “Yes, I understand how that could have made you feel. I am sorry I hurt you. Put a period after that. No “buts.” No “what you don’t understands is…” Just a big fat f*cking period.
Now she feels heard. This means there is more room for her to listen to your explanation. Now you can explain your intention and what the conversation was about. But do it gently with care. You’re not suddenly in a courtroom arguing your case.
How you’re going to improve. Yes, it’s "be a better you" time. Stop resisting. This is more for you than her. Do you want to be a stronger human with more tools or not?
Tell her you’ll be more sensitive to her feelings and be aware of them next time you engage with your ex. Note: You don’t have to say you will never talk to your ex again unless that is what she wants. If that’s the case, that’s another conversation. You have explored if that’s fair to you and if that’s something you are willing to do without holding anger and resentment.
Nail in the coffin.
Reminder her how much she and the relationship mean to you – that your heart belongs to her and no one else.
She was heard.
Her hurt was addressed.
You guys understand each other better. And now the “fight” made you both closer.
The other thing you are doing, what most people don’t think about, is you’re modeling what a healthy productive apology looks like.
If both people apologize this way, it’s a game changer.
You’ll be making your relationship bulletproof.
Because it’s not about how many times we fight. It’s about how we fight.
If you think this could help someone, please pass it along. The more we teach people, remind people how to resolve conflict, the fewer breakups and pain in this world.