All throughout our lives, we are likely to make mistakes, hurt people. Our actions and things we say in anger can bring much suffering to others. Much of this happens inadvertently. Despite that, it is important to make amends. And making it up to the person you wronged starts with an apology. A true and heartfelt apology can mend fences and repair strained relationships.
What is an Apology?
An apology is an act that shows you are remorseful of your words or actions. Through it, you show someone that you regret having hurt him or her. An apology can restore a person’s faith or love in you.
Why should you apologize?
Here are a few reasons why you should apologize-
• If your behaviour had pained or harmed someone, it will most likely end communication or discourse between you. If that person matters to you or if you care for him/her, then you will want to re-establish dialogue, then an apology is the best way to do it.
• An apology shows that you acknowledge your mistake. This will help the other person forgive you.
• An apology will tell the person you aggrieved that you have learnt from your mistake and will possibly not be making them again.
• When you insult someone, you rob them of their dignity. With an apology, you restore it. It will also prevent the other person from unjustly blaming herself/himself.
Are you apologizing wrong?
There are a few things you must never do when you apologize.
• People often blame others for the mistake they made and bring this up when they apologize. This will make you come across as a person looking to avoid responsibility.
• Sometimes when people apologize, they also try to explain why they did what they did. This justification does not do you any favours.
• A wrongdoer can sometimes downplay his/her actions, this only adds to the injustice that was perpetrated.
• Apologizing simply to brush an issue aside and move on is wrong.
What is the Right Way to Apologize?
When you apologize for the wrong way, you are only making things worse. So, here are a few tips for you that will make your apology come across as sincere-
• For an apology to mean something you have to truly feel that you did something terrible. The intention behind the apology should be to make amends and not simply because you need something from the person, you are apologizing to. Your apology has to be heartfelt.
• Ask the person’s permission. If she/he has stopped talking to you, don’t just barge in, request for a couple of minutes of her/his time and then gradually delve into your apology.
• State clearly that you realize your mistake.
• Then explain how you intend to make things better or right the situation.
• Tell her/him that you will never repeat the same mistake and mean it when you say it.
• Ask for her/his forgiveness.
Many people baulk at apologizing because they live under the delusion that asking for forgiveness is demeaning. It takes courage to own up that you were wrong but unless you learn to apologize and do it the right way, you will end up alienating everyone from your life.
Apologizing to a Colleague or a Boss
Just like with your loved ones, a professional apology too needs to be sincere. There are two ways to go about it. If you are well acquainted with your colleagues you can directly approach them and apologize. But if you have to say sorry to your boss or any other colleague, you should consider penning down your apology.
Should you apologize if you didn’t do anything wrong?
No, do not ever apologize when you know you haven’t done anything wrong. This is the surest way to make people take you for granted. They will tread all over you because they know you will blame yourself for their actions and they will get away with it. An apology is an art that you have to master if you want to sail smoothly throughout life.