The art of apology. “I’m sorry”. This is a statement used to admit the faults or error of an individual or show sympathy in a situation. Forgetting the sympathy aspect, let’s dwell on the aspect that focuses on faults or error. Mistakes come in two forms. You have the intentional form and then you have unintentional form. The two forms are pretty much self explanatory so without wasting too much let’s move on. We as human beings belong to one specie but live multiple lives. A fact that can be testified by people who’ve been hurt by their fellow brothers or sisters in one way or another. Two-faced is the term they call it right? Yes. Let’s however analyze apology itself. We apologize after we’ve offended someone and in some regards expect an acceptance or some sort to follow after that apology. However going back to the 2 forms of mistakes I mentioned, it is fair to say that this acceptance of apology will only be given due to the intent that the mistake bears or offers. In some cases the intent was minimal or null and thus one could easily say that there was no harm or foul play in the manner of the mistake caused. In some other cases, the intent was malicious and one that should bear all the right reasons not to accept any apology left alone offer an acceptance of it. Too many times the statement i quoted in the beginning of this piece is abused with people not being sincere with it. This is because these people feel like it’s easy to meddle with the lives of other people and expect to get away with it as much as they like and not expect any backlash from the victims of their acts. A sad reality we face today and it’s easily understandable why most people fail to forgive easily after being done wrong. There are others that although may have committed mistakes find it hard to apologize in the right manner or way. As a result, it becomes an even bigger complex situation due to the fact that the victims of their acts may either be hard headed to forgive and accept or just emotionally wrecked to even consider the apology being given. We must realize that an apology is more than just saying “I’m sorry”. It involves a sense of guilt, together with admittance and sincerity and all these must come out truthfully from your heart. It’s the actions that speak and not the words people, remember that! but even with the actions it must come straight down from your heart. There’s a thin line that must be drawn all the same. That is, the common sense and purpose of love. Meaning, regardless of how much intent or malice if there’s any in the actions of a person, we must learn to forgive at all cost but of course, an apology worth doing that must not be discarded especially when the damage that is caused after has serious implications on the lives of those who’ve been hurt.
A proper apology should always include the following:
A detailed account of the situation: By giving a detailed account of the offense, you are making sure that both you and the other person are talking about the same thing. It also legitimizes the feelings of the recipient by having the person who caused the offense recount the situation.
Acknowledgment of the hurt or damage done: by acknowledging the hurt or damage done, you are validating their feelings and the recipient begins to sense that you understand the situation. This is important to rebuilding your relationship because it legitimizes their reaction, even if others in the same situation may have reacted differently.
Taking responsibility and recognition of your role in the event: Taking responsibility and recognizing your role in the situation without offering excuses is important to letting them know that you understand that the event and your actions did cause them harm.
Don’t try to defend yourself or justify the situation or your actions. The apology is all about THEM and how they feel. It doesn’t matter if the actions were intentional or not, the end result is the same and that is what needs to be focused on when learning how to say I’m sorry.
A statement of regret and a promise that it won’t happen again: Including a statement of regret such as I “apologize” or “I’m sorry” along with a promise that it won’t happen again are important to rebuilding the relationship and are key ingredients to any apology. After all, there is no value in apologizing for something that you will do again and again.
Asking for forgiveness: Finally, asking for forgiveness at the end of the apology gives the “power” back to the recipient. It tells them, that you have done all that you can do by apologizing and providing whatever form of restitution you can. The next move is up to them.
When all this is set and done. The victim of the situation should carefully put into consideration your apology by analyzing the delivery and with the intent. A proper delivery with an honest and truthful intent should provide the platform for a proper acceptance and forgiveness of the situation. A bad delivery on the other will make the victims too easy and fast to make which of course would be to reject your apology..