As much as we hate to admit it, we all make mistakes. The part of a mistake that defines you is not the mistake itself, but how you learn and grow from it. The very first thing to do, is apologize. It sounds obvious, but often people hope that the damage will either go unnoticed or be ignored. There’s not real healing if you don’t own up to the mistakes you’ve made, and no real growth if you hope that those around you will be too polite to say anything.
So how do you go about apologizing and making amends? It may sound like a silly question but what makes your apology feel sincere is intent and effort. If you put no thought into it, are you really remorseful? Are you really considering the other person (or people) if you’re just trying to get things over with as quickly as possible?
This is a blog, written on some random day, on some stranger’s computer. You couldn’t dream up a more unbiased party. So have a look at these 7 things to consider when you’re trying to go beyond the apology gift and make sure the person you’re apologizing to knows that you mean it.
1. Actually say you’re sorry!
Again this sounds obvious, but there’s a million ways to imply you’re sorry without saying the worlds. You can say “my bad” or “I won’t do that again”. You can simply not speak up at all. Or worse yet you can say “Yeah but that wouldn’t have happened if…” The moment you realize you made a mistake, even if the other person hasn’t said anything own it. Take a deep breath, ask for a moment to speak and say something like “Hey, I realized I did something to hurt you. I’m so sorry.” You can, and should, be more specific about what you did.
2. Figure out what it is that you did wrong.
If you really aren’t sure what exactly you did to hurt them, ask! If you come to them with a clear willingness to want to understand what
3. Make a clear plan to change that behavior or make amends.
Maybe you forgot their birthday for the hundredth time, maybe you still haven’t learned to put the toilet seat down. Or you’re using a nickname they don’t like. Whatever the issue is an action (or lack of action) led to you being here. Now it’s time to figure out how to change.
4. Be willing to be corrected.
If the person tells you that what you’re doing isn’t making them feel better, don’t get offended. Just ask them again what they need. They may not know for sure, and sometimes time and being able to vent is the best thing.
5. Listen. The first time you apologize may not be all they need to feel better.
You’ve said you’re sorry, they’ve said they know, but they’re still hurt. They may need to hear it a few times before they believe you.
6. Words may not be enough. Try doing something for them.
Sometimes words aren’t enough. Try SHOWING that you’re sorry too. Make a grand gesture, take them out to dinner, surprise them with a gift basket, or take them out to a favorite activity. If you forgot their birthday, or your anniversary, or another gift occasion it’s time to do double time. Go ahead and upgrade to the large spa package for them, or add flowers and wine to your apology gift.
7. Thank them for being willing to talk to you and giving you a chance to fix things.
GO ahead and go beyond the apology gift and thank them for listening to you. Letting them know you appreciate the second chance is a big deal when it comes to making someone you hurt feel valued and loved. Don’t take their forgiveness for granted and be sure to let them know how much it means to you.
In a perfect world we would never hurt anyone we love, but we’re all human and mistakes happen. The best you can do is try and do better the next time and take constructive feedback. Of course sharing some wine and delicious dessert while they get all of the pain off of their chest doesn’t hurt.
Still trying to get out of the dog house?
–Take a look at our apology gift options with fast delivery around the world.
– Look at our fun date ideas to spoil the special someone in your life more.
– Know someone that doesn’t quite have this apology thing down? Make sure to use our social media links below to share it with them.
Image #1 by Tom Woodward