Apologies are important. They help us to express remorse and repair relationships when we’ve made a mistake—that is, if we go about them the right way. Here are 5 tips that will help you ask for forgiveness.
One, say you’re sorry. A genuine apology shows remorse and makes an impact. For example: “I’m really sorry that I raised my voice at you yesterday. I hate that I hurt your feelings.”
Two, own up to your mistake. If you want the individual to forgive you, you’ll need to acknowledge that you were in the wrong. Follow up your apology with something like:
“Raising my voice was totally not okay. I’m disappointed that I let my anger get the best of me.”
Three, take visible action. Make changes that show your mistake won’t happen again. For example, practice staying calm, cool, and collected when someone upsets you, instead of raising your voice. Taking deep breaths can help.
Four, respect their needs. The individual might need some time to work through their emotions and process your apology before they can forgive you. Give them space to do so.
Five, accept their decision. If you follow the four previous tips, you have a good chance of being forgiven. However, if the individual does not forgive you, it’s important to accept the decision and move on.