How Do I Apologize?
- Assess the situation. When is an apology necessary? Only you can decide about your personal situation. You can ask yourself the following questions to help you decide:
- Did you hurt or harm someone?
- Is this going to hurt your relationship with them?
- Choose when you want to apologize. The sooner, the better! The longer the other person feels hurt, the harder it will be for him/her to accept your apology.
- How will you apologize? Are you going to write a letter or talk to the person face-to-face? The more personal the relationship is and the more serious the situation, the more personal your apology should be. Now is not the time to use your free text messages!
- Mean what you say. There is nothing worse than having your own words come back to haunt you (That’s probably what got you into this situation!), so do yourself a favor and tell the truth.
- It’s time. Go talk to the person or mail your letter. Be prepared for surprises. Not everyone is good at accepting apologies, so you’ll have to see how the other person reacts and go from there. Check out the resources below for inspiration and tips on apologizing.
- Lyness, D’Arcy. “I Hurt My Friend’s Feelings. What Should I Do?” TeensHealth.
I Bullied Someone. How Can I Apologize?
After you apologize, show you’ve changed.
Grey’s Anatomy: I Love You Even When I Hate You
Tips on making a sincere apology using a scene from the TV show Grey’s Anatomy.
The Power of Apologies
(University of Colorado)
Advice for offering an effective apology—and responding to one.
Five Flavors of Dumb
By Antony John
By Wendelin Van Draanen
The Sky Is Everywhere
By Jandy Nelson
The Five Languages of Apology
By Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas
The One Minute Apology
By Ken Blanchard and Margret McBride
By Timbaland, featuring OneRepublic