Many, don’t actually know how to apologise. You might think you know how, but ask yourself this: have you caused an even bigger pain or an argument when you offered an apology? This article is for you.
Apology - 7 short alphabets with huge negative implications when it’s not done right, great affect when it is.
Why do apologies don’t work for some?
- Pretend or self-empathetic apology: Apology is for others, not for you. But you maybe making a mistake of apologising to and for yourself for putting yourself in a position where you’re forced to admit what you did wrong.
- Justified apology: Apology doesn’t require explanations or justifications of your actions. You don’t have to write an essay about your intentions or give a speech about your thought process before you did or say something hurtful. You’ve upset someone, that’s all there is for you to understand - and that’s enough reason for you to apologise.
- Defensive apology*: You believe that you’ve done nothing wrong despite you’ve hurt someone, and you apologise for the sake of keeping face.
If 1 or 2 of the above, or a mixture of the two sound familiar to you, this is how you could start practicing apologies.
Apologise (for how you made them feel)
+ state what you did (acknowledge and take responsibility)
+ apologise again (for your actions and their hurt feelings).
Ask for forgiveness (this gives them a space to breathe and explore whether if they can trust you again and move forward).
“I’m sorry for —-, I didn’t mean to hurt you but I did, and I’m really sorry. Will you forgive me?”
“I’m sorry for —-, I crossed your boundaries and I didn’t realise, I’m really sorry. Will you forgive me?”
*If you fit into defensive apology, it’ll require you to go way beyond practicing how to apologise. You’ll need to first start discovering your inner and outer-self in order to practice your imaginative empathy.